Skip to main content

About this Show

Book TV

2013 Los Angeles Festival of Books Education. (2013) New.




Richmond, CA, USA

Comcast Cable

Channel 43






Us 59, Florida 58, Pakistan 50, Cia 34, Los Angeles 33, America 32, California 28, Hawaii 27, L.a. 26, Washington 23, Hollywood 22, United States 22, Afghanistan 20, Berlin 16, Michael Moss 15, Dennis Prager 15, U.s. 15, Kathleen 13, Pentagon 13, Usc 12,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Book TV    2013 Los Angeles Festival of  
   Books  Education.  (2013) New.  

    April 21, 2013
    2:00 - 8:31pm EDT  

lennon. that story was told in the book, give me some truth, the john lennon ei trials. his most recent book is how we forgot the cold war, historical journey across america, which you can pick up later and get signed to john. that is john in the middle. next we've got the brass who has a home or advantage here perhaps. he's a professor of history at u.s. needs in a certain extensively about the working-class social history in film. his face that focused on cincinnati. his second was working-class hollywood come which focuses the subtitles that come the senate summons shaping of class in america. his latest book is hollywood left and right, how many shares shaped american politics and received the film scholars award from the academy of motion picture arts and days. finally, we have richard
schickel for "time" magazine and more books than everyone else put together. a couple of which we'll talk about today. one is guilty of tucson, his biography, which was critically acclaimed and armies of my hiscock conversation with scorsese, which is interviews with martin scorsese over several years than all of his great films. but our topic is the cold war hollywood and beyond. at the end what we do in the q&a who want to venture off, that's fine, too. so let's get started. their book is about how we forgot the cold war and maybe you can tell i was, why are we supposed remember the cold war
and what exactly are we supposed to remember? >> what is our timeframe here? >> when richard starts tapping the table. >> i wanted to find out how americans are remembering the cold war and the project format the estate journey. i traveled this evening but preliminary question is what are we supposed to remember about the cold war and there is an official story of the cold war that democrats and republicans have agreed upon and that is the cold war was a good war, a war like world war ii, a battle between freedom and totalitarianism. right now this is same for republican ideas and democratic idea, but democrats are equal participants in the cold war and george bush articulated this in
his first natural address, drawing a straight analogy between world war ii and the cold war. the history of the 20th century is the history of two great struggles. this is a struggle of freedom versus fascism led by fdr on the second was the struggle of freedom against stalinist utilitarianism that was kind dead at ronald reagan, who famously went to the brandenburg gate and said mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall and they did tear down the wall. the notion that reagan won the cold war is often announced if you google reagan won the cold war. i think i got 140,000 head and of course the major center in
america for celebrating is in simi valley, the reagan library. how many of them to the reagan library? excellent, excellent. of course they have a beautiful display of a hunk of the berlin wall went up the mountain, some sense behind it. if you go to simi valley today, you will find there the exhibit is not about the berlin wall. it's not about reagan at the brandenburg gate same as to gorbachev tear down that wall. it is not the reagan won the cold war. the major exhibit is the life of walt disney. the largest ever assembled of memorabilia has been on display for the last item on, closes on april 30th. it is the largest ever
temporarily housed and is organized not by the national archives, which operates the reagan library. disorganized by the wild disney fan club. it contains things like the original sketches for cinderella , sleeping beauty, disney live-action films. i went out there and i have one question. why? what does walt disney have to do with reagan or the presidency? i have to say richard shook already wonderful book called the disney version is set the standard for what it means that they study at the disney phenomenon. i can't say the people who designed the exhibit at the reagan library seem to have learned much from it. what does reagan have to do with disney? the answer is almost nothing,
but they did appear together one. they appeared together more than once, the one occasion was especially historically significant and i was the first day of the hearings the committee came to hollywood in 1947 to investigate they said a communist infiltration of the film industry. the first day was what we call friendly but this is at ronald reagan, president of the screen that is god and walt disney both testified communism is a big problem in hollywood and thanked the house committee for bringing it investigation to l.a. the next and what it says i refused to name the name of friends, colleagues, former comrades who abandoned the communist party. they were sent to federal prison. they were the hollywood 10 and
the blacklist began. so disney and reagan were both present at the birth of the hollywood luckless, but that is not mentioned at the exhibit at the reagan library in simi valley today. instead, it is the oldest and stuff that is fun to see if your disney fan. i also wonder, they are a perfect object to display the display pieces of the berlin wall. it's across the street from laptop or other places like that. they see how the exhibits at other places explain whether
they articulate the view of reagan won the cold war and said mr. gorbachev, tear down the wall and they did. at the high-end of the spectrum of cultural s., section of the berlin wall and the redmond washington. microsoft has over 5000 works of art. one of them is a two-ton chunk of the berlin wall. this is a symbol of soviet totalitarianism brought by ronald reagan. his discharge? lots of people regard graffiti of urban life and crime. they say this piece of the
berlin wall -- a really should give you the quote because it is so great is a richly colored energetic and tightly composed abstraction, a collage of graphic gestures, close quote, therefore it belongs in an art collection and that's where their display name. they don't mention soviet totalitarianism or ronald reagan. at the other end of the spectrum of cultural capital there is a section of the berlin wall in las vegas at the main street station casino. is anyone here been to the main street station casino? could you tell us what kind of casino at this? it's not on the strip. it hasn't historic been. it is and what we call the budget area of washington d.c. -- of las vegas. did you see their section of the berlin wall?
where was the? it is in the men's room. thank you very much. it's great to have history buffs in the audience. the mentioned that the main street displays the berlin wall above the urinals. this has been declared among las vegas number two by the travel channel. it's been featured in traveled leisure magazine as well as the top 10 sites of las vegas and women have complained they are deprived of the opportunity to see the berlin wall segment that are in the e-mail for direct republic relations in a fit if you ask one of the security guards at the black jack tables, adjacent to the men's room, not sure why, they will check to make sure the coast is clear and then they will let you see the berlin wall.
that exhibit also says nothing about ronald reagan, nothing about soviet totalitarianism. i concluded the basis of this brief survey, this journey across america, that most americans do not seem to be interested in hearing the official story of how america won the cold war. asked by the reagan library is now having disney artifacts and claims that section of the berlin wall as a work of art and mass by whatever's going on at the main street station casino is going on. thank you area match. [applause] >> submaximal codices. one of the things that's really interesting is that the political left dominates hollywood and the conservatives
have made much or more hay out of their connection with hollywood. tell us about how the weepy mayor was key to that and if you can somehow tie that into -- >> urinals and jon wiener. >> you get a bonus credit. >> and also the other day they were together. ronald reagan was one of the hosts. my book, hollywood left and right has five on the flats, five on the right and the only time in my career -- i took of my own politics aside and take a look at 10 people willing to sacrifice a great deal and claim they been openly political. from charlie chaplin to arnold schweizer necker. one of the things i discovered are two bits of hollywood and politics.
the first of hollywood has been a bastion of liberalism in the second is the hollywood has always been far more prominent than the hollywood rate and i found both wrong. first, conservatives have a longer history in hollywood and second, even though the hollywood left has been more norm numerous invisible. they have had a greater impact on american political life. you might say, how is that possible? i would say if you look at american politics writ large, there've been two foundational moments the 20th century that we are living with the battling over right now. first was the creation of a new deal welfare state under franklin roosevelt and sackett was the effort to dismantle the new deal state begun under ronald reagan.
if you take a look over the course of the 20th century, the hollywood left has generally prefer to focus their energy on causes and issues. but the hollywood rate is about quality of impact, not quantity of people. the hollywood rate starting with louis b. mayer have focused on political power and controlling nature of the american government, and shaping it. my story starts, even though i begin with charlie chaplin, the political story begins in the late 20s because the fashions the prayers permanent relationship between the party and studio. he turns mgm and sweep up with the winning and training ground for the republican party. this is in the late 1920s. any republican politician who would come through los angeles
would find out who his favorite actor or act or so sorry. you would have them come to the mgm lot and build a step them. he would make sure his photographers came out and took pictures. so they've got pictures -- i have one in the book of president coolidge next to mary pickford and number of other stars as well. those photographs are then sent to every press agency in the country, giving the candidate bettina glamour that their democratic counterparts lacked. it was in fact, much to my surprise, the republicans, not the democrats, conservatives are not the liberals who pioneered the use of media for political lines. it was mayor who first understood how you use radio to enliven george murphy, many of
you george murphy was considered a dance man at mgm studios he was the one not only to use radio, but he tied dwight eisenhower the first sort of behind the scenes media expert to talk about the important tom dewey was running for president. they predicted he would win in a landslide. you have the famous photo of truman holding out and he went on inside you know what, no one likes you. you may be the front runner. they think your smarty-pants.
the next time you go on and you're photographed, do that with your words. get your words wrong. before you walk out on the stage. he lost the election when he ran for governor two years later and did everything murphy is said. dwight eisenhower with robert montgomery. more importantly murphy who is also an officer had another protége at his famous ronald reagan. everything that reagan did, whether it's the reagan democrats, britain's use of media, everything he did he learn from george murphy, but he did it much better. murphy tutored reagan. reagan intern tutored charlton heston and the have the final person in that grouping would be
arnold schwarzenegger who took media a step further, showing you could use 24/7 media which pushed aside as insignificant. he said was important as people who are bored with politics, more than 50% of the elect are at in presidential elections in something like 60% to 70% in gubernatorial elections don't care about politics. if i go on these shows and the reason they don't care about politics to the league of women voters to survey people who don't vote and find out why you don't vote. most are women and the number one reason is they don't understand the issues. schwarzenegger went on in 2003, entertainment tonight, access hollywood, larry king. everyone would give him his much time as he wanted and he was able to lay out what he wanted
to do a lot with the shtick of the girlie man in office and anyone who will tell legislators who are doing their job cost of the beast bb. he completed his ideas without anyone questioning him. he proved right. who's able to get more than a million more people turned out for the election and voted in the gubernatorial recall of any two months earlier than the regular election gray davis had one. going back for a moment, john has made a mistake many historians, including myself a bit unproblematic as a friendly witness in fact he didn't welcome congress. if you read the testimony, it's interesting because when the war ended, ronald reagan was a
bleeding heart liberal that it was only during the studio strikes between 1945 to 1947 that he knew trimble vote democrat to the real anti-communist by the early 50s became a conservative anti-communist. what was interesting about the hearings that first day when they brought in the friendly witnesses and disney was very friendly and also very paranoid, the reagan said to congress i hate communists. i wish she would outlaw the communist party. until then, you're asking us to do the duty work congress should do. you want us to blacklist communists. the problem if we did that come the soviets have one because we have this thing called the bill of rights and free speech and as long as the party is legal, they have a right to say and do what
they want and i don't want to overdramatize status. he's saying i want to get rid of communists, but it's not up to us. they have a legal right and you have to follow the constitution in order to do it. the last contribution reagan and murphy made his best to men who understood that are then i would argue any politician how to use media for political ends. most people want to be entertained. politics as drama and melodrama would succeed where the straightforward political speeches. the two of them together created the mantra of the republican party and think about this. peer and reassurance that we have many enemies out there,
both domestic and foreign and in the case of reagan and murphy in the late 40s and the is, those enemies are communism abroad and creeping socialism, big government at home. be reassured that people like us, hard-core republican conservatives can defeat this enemy is an enemy time if you look at what democrats are saying for the late 40s, 50s onwards, and they were the mantra of hope and guilt. hope of what america could be. job do we have it done enough to get that. i would suggest for the last 70 some odd years, continually with the exception of 2008 trump tobin killed. >> richard. [applause] >> richard, straighten us out
here. we are learning and hollywood, republicans, conservatives have had more power for their power -- they've done more with it and the democrats and liberals have. tell us if you agree that there's been more power coming out and also before that, john talked about the blacklist and i know you've had to address this many times talking about what you feel i think was the way he was drawn to the whole discussion of the blacklist and his part in testifying. >> well, i don't necessarily think he was wrong, you know. he had a position that most people disagreed with. i think it's a really tricky
subject because he is a man of impeccable liberal credentials. that is to say he just happened to be in anti-communist liberal, which got them in hacker trouble with all kinds of people. i am a prejudiced witness. and you know quite well. i liked him enormously as a guy come as a person of considerable honor and integrity. but you know, there's no question that he was a communist very briefly in the 1930s. he fairly quickly set that
aside. he became an impeccable liberal. but there came a time -- i think -- i think there's something slightly tragic because i think he did not -- let me start again. he was in a position late in his life, not even all that late in his life. he was in a difficult line and did not become a person that
many people liked or trusted and not. i liked him and i trusted him and israel in crash in his position. so i signed and that's why i like this for as low as any book i've ever read is i liked the ambiguity. i like the problems he confronted, the difficulties he had been sorting on a position and making it stick with people who are not necessarily supporters of his or anything like that. i faced at the end of his life
unobvious in my acquaintanceship was sent. i faced real ambivalence, not about anniston man or a person, but a real difficulty in sorting out what he stood for it was never an easy process for him to sort out who he was, what he was, what he stood for. i think he remains an ambivalent position all the time. those are the most fascinating tours. they either care or is to make you want to write about them,
and make you want to try to understand that and all that. so for me, just selfishly speaking, it's a great subject and i never, making msa did, i still never came to a firm conclusion, except in that i like him. just a simple ring. you don't really like them. walt disney would be such a care for. [laughter] but the same was whatever was going on with them he was
engaged, difficult -- i think the book by my standards is a very good book, but i don't pretend that it's a final answer about him. the other thing to me that aside about the characters is, you know, they really mean sunoco question of who he was, what he was, what he says he was up to, that he was also a wonderful man i was preparing for this. i just, of all characters i've written about, professor disney,
he is the one that draws me back time and time again to the ambivalence is a sad. and yet, finally, just the pure joy and fun of them. he was a wonderful fellow to have a conversation when it, to try and figure out, he's not great subject. that's really all i have a say. i have a lot more to say obviously, but for me and the writer as a biographer, he's not great subject. >> okay, thank you, richard. >> on hopping. here we are talking about this great struggle of the cold war and communism and the soviet empire, but now we have this new
struggle with islamic extremism and occupies more of our political time with that is having recently in the news. if at the forefront of our minds. .. >> everyone they subpoenaed had been. kazan had been a member of the
communist party briefly and many were willing to answer the question truthfully. some at any time want to talk about it. but if you didn't answer that question you would be backlifted, if you pled the fifth. if you answered the question you're required to answer a second question and much more difficult and potentially devastating are which is give us the names of other people you know who were members of the communist party, and if you didn't answer that question fully and truthfully, in their view, you would be backlift. so kazan and the other people subpoenaed had to decide whether they would name their former comrades, their friends, their, in some cases, college roommates, people had been in group theater with, and then those people would be subjected to the same proceedings. they would be asked the same famous question and the same followup question, and they,
too, would have to decide whether to betray their friends in order to keep their own jobs. this is what made kazan such a hated figure. i have to say. among the hollywood left. they called him a fink, a stool yes, a judas, because they said to preserve his own career in hollywood he ruined the career of the people that he named. -- >> that's not, by the way, necessarily true. >> in what sense is it not necessarily true? >> well, in the case of kazan, he did not -- he could not -- i mean, -- look, here's what i think. it's a very complicated question. much more complicated question than people allow it to be the today's world.
i think -- this is difficult to say -- i think in a sense, a certain sense, he did the right thing. that is to say, -- that is to say -- he could not righteously name names. and so he is left kind of twisting in the wind, it seems to me. >> i want to get steve back in here. what i read in -- about kazan in your book was you felt there was naivete and fault on the part of the people who were in the communist party, they refused to am -- acknowledge there was a
problem. >> let me address that. >> maybe talk about present day. you write about this -- president-day celebrities celebd their hesitance to get involved in politics. nothing do with this? >> no, has to do with -- michael jordan was once asked, how much money does anyone need? and michael jordan was opposite asked, why don't you ever come out for any kind of causes? people listen, and his answer was well, republicans buy nikes. >> fair enough. >> this started in 1918. the first quote was sid gramman. from the chinese theater. said never talk about politics. it's bad for the old box office arue because the moment you open your mouth you ailentate half your odd wednesday. but there's a context to go back to kazan. some who don't know the cold war
history, they're commies are right? we have a real myth about the good war, and that myth became solidified probably during the vietnam war, which was not such a good war, which is a very ambivalent war, that somehow, unlike vietnam, which seems so fraught with who was on the right side, world war ii we could feel good about because we stood up and opposed hitler. it's a myth, folks. in november 1936, according to the gallup poles, 59% of americans wanted nothing to do with what was going on in europe. >> well, you can still say that's early. >> okay. >> july 194 1, we're now two years in into the war, 79% of americans wanted nothing to do with that war. the only group in america that was vocally antifascist,
attendants in sunday -- antinazi was the communist party and the only reason people joined the communist party up top 1939, they were resolutely antifascist and anti-nazi. they saw what hitler and mussolini were doing in europe and they would not stop, and the only group speaking out were the communist party, and constant sequentially hollywood became one of the centers antinaziism and antifascism, and for anybody who have been in a voluntary group, in the pree-mail games, you had to stuff envelopes, addressing envelopes, stuffing-1/2s, and you had all these troupes with conservatives, liberalsing are smile group fighting hitler and fascism and the communist party was willing to do all this grunt work. you had hollywood liberals
ex-like edward g. robinson, who would later deny he knew anything about communist participation but in this autobiography he said of course i knew there was communists there but i didn't ask. i would join if they were against hitler and mussolini. and so you had this group that, after the war, become known as fellow travelers, or the most oddly titled expression ever, premature antifascists. now, we're kazan comes in is where many people leavele, either people leaving the party, or leave the various what became known as popular front groups that were amalgam, in the summer of 1939, when hitler and stalin sign a mute tour nonaggression pact, and that was the moment that those who were not hard-core believers in communist said, huh-uh. we understand what he ising too it, stalling for time. but he can't -- if he is joining
with hitler in a pact, we're out of here. and even the hollywood antinazi league changed its name, and the communist party lost a great deal of its membership. so, for someone like kazan, it was, anyone who stayed in the party after that was a fool, and it would only be later we discovered that in fact the -- first of all, there were only 300 -- even the most conservative historians argue at the top there were 300 communists party members in hollywood. 300. and at its peak, these people were -- they thought they were doing the right thing, but we discovered in subsequent years that in fact people like john lawson, the head of the writers of the creative guild were getting their orders directly from moscow, but nobody knew that. what's they kazan is ambivalent, because if your still in the cp
after '39, what are youing too in if the rope you joined was to oppose hitler because nobody else would speck out, that americans were too cowardly to admit whatever you want to call it, it does raise a question. >> john do you want to talk a little bit about why -- do you -- you talked about the republican construction of reagan being the one who won the cold war. your book makes the point clearly that this didn't take. the -- is that a bad thing? is that construction the right one? >> well, i don't agree with it. if you go to the eastern part of germany today or hungary or poland or those places, and ask them why the berlin wall came down, they are puzzled and stunned and a little offended at the idea they were following reagan's instructions. when they did this. their view is it was their own
grassroots democratic movement that led to the liberation of eastern europe from soviet control. i think most soviet experts and historians today think the soviet union collapsed partly from it own, what we used to call, internal contradictions, economic failures, military adventures, and also gorbachev. the soviet union probably could have been going for a long time if it wasn't for gorbachev who was determined to demom contract ties politics and bring private initiative to the economy, and reagan realized that. you don't find out about this at the reagan library but reagan met with gorbachev at reykjavik, famously, and the two almost agreed to nuclear disarmament. the reaganites in the defense department were horrified by this and put a stop to it but
reagan didn't go all the way with reaganism when he had a chance to end the cold war, especially the nuclear threats. so it's a hard-core republican belief. if you remember the pup pup prime -- republican primaries of 2012, it was not that long ago there were eight or ten republican candidates in simi valley for a debate at the reagan library and every one of them said reagan set the example how maring be strong, reagan did with the soviet union and we should do it today in iran, we should do it -- we were right toy trite in iraq. america should use its power to achieve its spend destroy its enemies. i worked in the cold war and in the middle east. you have 29% of the american people agree with that today. >> richard, do you want to say
something? you're leaning forward. >> no. >> okay. we want to take questions from the audience if anybody has a question, and i think there's a microphone somewhere that someone is going to bring up. why don't we start right up here on the aisle, blue shirt. >> the red scare obviously had an impact on politicians, individuals in hollywood, and certain business areas. what was the impact on common american citizens, the average -- >> i can't quite hear you. i can't -- >> the impact of what? >> the impact of the red scare on just common, ordinary person. the reason i ask is at a certain point when i was 20 or 21, i mentioned joe mccarthy to my mother, and she came from a basic farming stock, and she had
no idea who mccarthy was. >> she was not from wisconsin. >> well, i can tell you one story in hedda hopper archives, being a former gossip columnist and conduit to the fbi, the most conservative does sip columnist in hollywood, sent hoover a great deal of inside information. she received a letter from hastings from new york from a woman saying i want your advice on something. albert decker's wife -- albert decker was a supporting actor, and a lefty. and had come under suspicion from the hearings. can't remember. if he was actually blacklifted or graylifted but she writes and says albert decker's wife is running for office in the local pta. this is around '5.
and i want to know, do you think it's a good idea -- i understand that no wife should be tarred with her husband's politics, but do you think it's a good idea to vote for her? and hedda hopper says, i agree with you, wife should not be responsible for the husband, but if it was my child in a school and it was my pta, i would never vote for somebody who was that far on the left. so, it gets to the local ptas. it created a climate of fear in this country. many teachers who had been -- anyone who had been part of one of these antifascist groups in the '30s, fighting hitler. fighting the good war before it became the good war, if they found out about you, you were blacklifted and you lost your job. >> one other thing that we shouldn't forget about the economic impact of the red scare. the military industrial complex
is the direct result of the fear of soviet attack. southern california is what it is today because of the aero space industry. we're all here because of the military industrial complex, which eisenhower famously warped against in this farewell address in 1969, it made our country less democratic, distorted our spending but very good for southern california employment, southern california real estate, southern california -- the university of california is a product of the cold war, because we needed an educated public if we were going to defeat soviet totalitarianism. the public doesn't seem to have the same enthusiasm for paying taxes for the education of its college students today than it had during the cold war. >> anybody else?
back in the red shirt in the middle here. >> one of the kingpins of hollywood, more behind the seasons, was lou wasserman who seemed to helped his forces to some political efforts. what was his leanings? was he considered to be a lefty, righty, or just a pragmatist. >> the question is about lou wasserman and his political lengs. -- political leanings. richard? >> lou was seniorman was essentially a man defeated to the welfare of universal pictures. that's what he did and how he defined himself. it seems to me that wasserman was in a certain sense value
neutral so long as whatever was happening worked to the benefit of his studio and his enterprise, and it was a vast enterprise by the time it was -- it reached full maturity. i don't think he was -- i don't think he was evil man. he was just a guy really tending to business in a very, very, i must say, very effective way. there's no question in my mind at least, that he was the weeding ontrip -- the leading entrepreneur of hollywood, and he was the man people went to, to settle disputes, to settle problems. and he was notoriously a fairly honest broker. he was a fascinating man, and i
think -- there's a tendency with people like wasserman, people with great power in me motion picture business, there's a tendency to kind of step become from them and kind of fear and -- certain amount of trembling -- but i think in the largest sense, he was an honest broker, and there are not that many of them in the industry. ever. and so i don't think we ever will know the full extent of wasserman's influence, his power, what he was doing, what he was not doing. but that is to me -- it's interesting because there are a
few books about him, but there needs to be -- i don't think there will be -- a full accounting of what he stood for in -- within the industry. it's fascinating story. can never get enough of lou wasserman. >> sounds like another book for richard. book number 40. >> no. no. >> anybody else? right there. microphone or project? >> project. >> too we have a microphone? we need a microphone. >> duh! >> does it work? there you go. >> the is one of the most nuanced discussions i've seen of this period and i've attended a few of those and often they're
far more heated than this. coming as i do from a family that was deeply impacted by the blacklift and the maccar the era, and still is in some ways, especially financially, i really appreciate that. do you think we have come to a time when we can talk about this rather more rationally than has been done for so many years? all the history of the period tend to be either from the left or right and very skewed. doesn't it seem odd that if we have come to that time where we can have a balanced discussion of this period, we seem all the more divided between left and right in contemporary politics. am i missing something or is there some kind of link between the two? >> i think we can talk about the past more rationally but i think the same stuff plays itself out right now. u.s. remember at the beginning of the iraq war, jim asked me a question, does this still hold true today? do movie stars need be afraid to
speak out? and i would say, yes. the lesson is, if what you care about is your pocketbook, if you want to speak out and be pro patriotic and defend america right or wrong, you'll never get in trouble. if you want to be critical of foreign policy because you belief, as a citizen -- remember, we have a thing called the constitution. all men are created equal. everybody, at least from the beginning, white, male, 2 1, with property, could vote. since then we've expanded -- well, i'm not being sarcastic because in terms of the world to have any white male who was sovereign, that we were sovereign. the american revolution declared the people sovereign rather than a king or queen. you couldn't have a king or queen taking your land away because they had finch it to you through sovereign rights. so if every citizen has a right to say what they should or should not do in our government, we would think we could respect that, and yet at the very beginning of the iraq war, when
susan sarandon and tim robbins spoke out against the war, they had their invitation to talk to the baseball hall of fame withdrawn. and right after that i had a crew from fox news come to my house to interview me, because i don't go to the studios anymore. they want me? they can come to my house. the first question the reporter asked me, first question on air was: don't you think tim robbins and susan sarandon or traitors? and i turned to her and said, and when did i stop beating my wife? so, i just want to let you know that -- how this plays out. we went on the air and i tried to explain how, no, every citizen has both the right and obligation to say what they believe. so we taped the segment, which never got shown on fox, and at the end she says to me, okay, we're off the air now. don't you really believe they were traitors? i said to her, i said to her,
okay, you're a producer. when you have your weekly meet examination you pitch a story, what's the story that fox has not covered that you believe it should? and she said oh, simple. i'm a military brat. and they've done nothing about the families left behind. nothing about the wifes and children or the husbands and children of the soldiers who have been sent to iraq. and i said so let me ask you something. what if you were to pitch it every week and every week you would bet nor and more insistent this is a major story they're not covering and you're getting angrier about it. she said, simple, are a while they would -- oh, oh, and i said, okay, i don't know how much you make but i'll bet you it's a lot less than susan sarandon or tim robbins so they're willing to risk millions of dollars to stand for their beliefs and you're not willing to risk anything to stander your beliefs. so who is the patriot and who ills the coward? and that was it.
[applause] >> right up here in front. you the microphone for tv purposes. your big chance. >> i'm not going to ask now. i'm stephen ross kind of answered my question but i would like to make the same very good point back to huac. and it seems from our perfect now the real issue with huac was why were not the press, the academics, the artists, saying to huac, every american has a constitutional right to be a communist, a marxist, a capitalist or whatever he wants and you have no right to interfere with that? it seems to me that was the issue with huac. and it's not the issue that seems to get discussed. >> some people did say that. they lost their jobs.
they -- "the new york times" fired them. the -- this was not a popular view. shouldn't there have been a mass movement? that's a very nice idea. the communist party, however, there were proposals, the communei party should be banned. its leaders were arrested and charged with conspiracy. this was a hard time to organize a mass movement. >> also, in a climate of fear, people are afraid. so what you say makes sense now. but imagine if the brothers had not been caught? or one dead right now in boston. and this had played out much longer, we would have a climate of fear in our country right now, and we would see some real ugliness, i believe, that would come down the huac managed to keep a climate of fear. the first question to ask is if
huac was really afraid of the soviet threat, if that was their number one fear, why didn't they start by interviewing nuclear physicists rather than hollywood movie stars? >> all right. i think we got time for at least one more. right here in the yellow shirt. >> 1962, 1963, i was constantly battling the german argument that, aren't the americans pretty unsophisticated when it comes to international politics? i mean the german communist party was given a meeting room in the public school i takenned in west berlin. i was in the town hall square when kennedy give his speech to 4,000 screaming germans. every german i knew, newell they should come out and honor kennedy during his six-hour visit because he had confronted the soviets over the cuban missile crisis. would you agree with the germans
that the american people continue as a superpower to be pretty unsophisticated when it comes to international threats? >> who wants to call the americans unsew fit tick indicated. go, rich. have it. >> that's all i have to say. >> we agree. >> the most interesting thing that i know about kennedy in berlin is when the -- they were very worried that the berlin cries that there would be a nuclear confrontation over berlin. when the berlin wall went up, kennedy said a wall is better than a war and secretly welcomed this as a solution to the berlin crisis. >> who knew. maybe we have time for one more. way in the back there. >> i wanted to follow up on the woman who said her family was impact by the mccarthy era, as
was mine. and i belong to labor union. when you vote to strike, the 20% who don't want to go don't get to stand there and say they feel ambiguous and it's a nuanced vote whether they cross a picket line to destroy your job, and i find that -- i helped organize truth in whatever -- i helped organize a protest against giving elia kazan an so oscar, t i found the defense of him is he didn't make a decision. he was too confused and too ambiguous to make a decision. i agree you go up there and answer yes or no. you face consequences but you make a decision to inform on people that you were friends with and ruin their careers. i really want to know if people up there really do think that people who informed against unionists primarily, and fellow communists or fellow travelers, did it because they thought they
were stupid fools or were they just making a decision to protect their own butts? >> richard? did you hear that question? >> can you give me the essence? >> whether people were -- why they were informing, and i think the most pointed -- one of the most pointed case is kazan. to maybe you can talk to us -- you think there's a lot more subtlety to this than the way it's been depicted as black and white, you eeither informed or didn't. >> he was saving his own butt. >> no, he wasn't just saving his own butt. there was very -- it was a much more nuanced response than has been portrayed. generally speaking. in the press, and elsewhere. i don't know how much of kazan's testimony and so forth at that
time was self-serving, and how much of it was principle. that is the point, kind of, about kazan. you never knew exactly where he was coming from, and what he was doing. i do believe he was a principled man. i do believe that he was in the context of the time, and the fact is not knowing what you're going to eventually know about the whole situation. i think he earnestly tried with whatever success, to do the right thing. i don't know if, in fact, he did the right thing. i do know that it was his situation. he was in a tormented place.
and -- sympathetic without being entirely sure he tide do the right thing. >> we're actually out of time. that our hour. i want to thank you all for coming. if you want to get a copy of one of these books. if you want to heave these books signed, go to signing area one, and if you want to hear more about politics, "the los angeles times" tent right now we're going to be talking about the l.a. mayor's race, in half an hour at 12:30. so thank you for coming. and thank you to the panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> you're watching booktv's live coverage from "the los angeles times" festival of becomes on the campus of the university of southern california. a beautiful, southern california day here. we have several hours of live coverage ahead, including author callins and we're pleased now to be joined on our sets at usc by the best-selling author, dennis prager. his most recent book: "still the best hope. why the world needs american vallates triumph. " is this about experting american values. >> guest: we first have to import them. but it's about exporting elm that's why the subtitle is about the world. people need guidance to be good people. we're not born good. this is one of the basic differences between left and right. left wing ideology tends to believe we're born basically good. conservatives understand we're not, and it's a huge source of the differences between left and
right. so if you understand -- and my preoccupation is with understanding why there's so much evil in the world, since i was a child, that's always preoccupied me. i take no credit for it. but it has been. you need ideas to guide people's lives. you need, if you will, ideology, and there are three competing ideologies in the world today. islamism, or islam, i'll explain the difference in a moment -- leftism and americanism. those remember the three competing ideas. two of them are proselytizing. one is not. americanism. and i define americanism very simply, not simplistic include in the book -- that's why they're a coin on the cover. occurred to me in -- i don't know -- 25 yours ago, emptying my pockets at night, i looked at the coins and century enough it was amazing there they were, the american value system on eve
coin. liberty and in god we trust. that is applicable to owl all societies in the world. what i call the american trinity, those three values is the greatest value system ever devised for liberty and goodness. >> host: how do you define leftism and. >> gue: leftism -- that's the thing. as i point out. that's the largest single part of the book, leftism has characteristics and it begins, for example, with the belief that the greatest vehicle to goodness is the state. that the state is the great, as i said, vehicle to goodness. that you rely on the state as much as possible for the welfare of people. it begins with the belief that economics explains human behavior, not values. so that the idea that poverty causes crime is a sort of dogma
on the left. we who do not subscribe to leftism, but to judeo^- christian values to, i think, common sense, know that the basic cause of crime certainly in our society is a malfunctioning conscience. people don't rape because of poverty. people aren't killing because of poverty. they're killing because they stink. that's why -- and we can't say that. it's just unbelievable. you can say, madoff stinks. people can say everything terrible, and they should, about bernie madoff, white collar criminal but you can't say the average rapist and murderer is of that level. it's not really him. it's his parenting. it's poverty, and so on. so, the blaming of outside forces for human evil is a very deep part of leftism. the materialist view of life is part of secular leftism.
in fact leftism is by and large opposed to a strong religiousity because marx said the obstacle to -- is religion. religion says try to be happy in the world that exists and leftey. says make utopia here. religion says utopia is in the next life. so those are part of the, whichics and they're all developed in the book. >> host: dennis prager is our gift. if you want to call him the numbers are on the screen. >> or go to our facebook page. you can post a comment on
mr. prager's name. it's on the top of the page. no, mr. prager, in "till the best hope" in the chapter, why left succeeds, or part of the book why the left succeeds, favored groups are rarely to blame, you say, about certain issues. what do you mean? >> guest: well, if, for example, the most obvious being a racial minority. if they kill, it is because of racism and poverty. during the l.a. riots that took place in this very city. i was talk show host then as well. i said -- i'll never forget why i said it, a local nbc reporter said here i am at the corner of two streets where the riots were happening and i see a black gentleman throwing stones at drivers. and i thought, the man throwing stones is not a gentleman. the word i can't use on national
television but the word that comes to mind is not gentlan. why did he say gentleman? he wouldn't say there's a white gentleman wearing a hood, burping a -- burning a cross. the left of center doesn't have the courage and doesn't have the ideology that permits it to blame evil on evil-doers. if the evil-doer is black, it's white's fault. if the evil doer is white, it's white's fault. and you name it. the palestinian israeli conflict is another example. don't blame the palestinians. what they're doing is understandable in light of how evil israel is. the -- by the way, that's a very significant example of the upside-down world of the left that israel is now increasingly the villain. in that conflict. in the history of the world, there has not been a war between a free society and an unfree society. never. it's either free and unfree or
two unfree societies. this is the first time in world history that i know of that the free society is blamed for a conflict. that is thanks to the left. israel is the villain. not the palestinians, who -- half of whom vote for a genocidal ideology to prevail. the leftism is an upside-down moral world. i say this with sadness because a lot of people who subscribe it to are decent people, which, incidentally, is unique to us. we constantly understand there are good people with whom we differ. i have never heard a prominent leftist say conservatives are good people. people who believe that same-sex major is wrong and that we should continue to keep the male-female major. they're not doing this from hate. they have sincere beliefs in this regard. they can't say that. because if we're not demonized
then the can't be fought. we're fought by demonized. that's what we are. and that is how they prevail. we're not basketballing ideas. we're battling bad people. we think they're wrong. they think we're bad. >> host: dennis prayinger in here you write about the left wing takeover of the universities, and you give, as an example, the university of california san diego. and you list some organizations that the university has, and -- >> guest: want to read it? >> host: i'm going to read it. >> guest: awesome. this is from heth very mcdonald at the manhattan -- >> the vice chancellor for descriersty, the chance're lazy diversity office. the associate chancellor for faculty equity. the say si stays vice childrenless for diversetive. faculty equity -- the staff
diverse city lee anson, the undergraduate student relay own, the graduate student diversity lee asewn, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the office of academic diversity and equal opportunity. the committee on gender identity and sexual orientation issues. the committee on the status of women. the campus council on climate, culture, and conclusion, the lesbian gay buy sexual gay tax gender resource center and the women's center. a left-wing seminary, not a university. >> guest: that's right. >> host: should not these en. >> guest: they have nothing to do with teaching. it has to do with indoctrination and ideology. this is another tragedy. i was raised in the jewish tradition the teacher was honored bay pavement i'm serious. i was racessed a religious jew,
i still am, to the not orthodox. i have written two book on judaism so i'm steeped in my religion. and we were taught to respect teachers exactly like parents. in fact the hebrew root for torah, teacher, and parent is the same. that how hoely -- holy the teaching role is in my extra collision. has sullied the word teacher. i never thought it would be possible. it's like the pure is word you have. what the teachers unions have done to teaching in the public schools and what the left has done to teaching in the universities, i do call them left wing seminary. the christian seminaries there to produce committed christians. the university there is to now produce committed leftists and they're succeeding. that's the biggest reason for election results and for the shift in american values. are you don't hear this ideas in
an american campus. not here at usc and i'm not picking on usc. doesn't matter where we would be. there are fine teachers at every university, no question, but overwhelmingly it as an indoctrination. bill maher, man of the left, just had a guy from uc san bernardino. who -- said to him, i'm courteous, in light of the latest terror attacks. i'm just curious, if there had been a show mocking islam on broadway like there is mocking mormonism, do you think first that anybody would have put it on some do you think there would have been violin result and the professor says, no, no, would have been the same. muslims are perfect live okay with that -- perfectly okay with that. you're taught lies on a campus. yale university is so scared of islamists that they refused at the last moment in their own
book on the mohammad cartoons in denmark to publish the cartops in a book on the cartoons they would not publish cartoons. on a book on nazi anti-september tim would they have preduesed naziisms about the ju jews in of course. no christian is killing anybody for antichristianity. there's a christ thing that went from museum to museum of the crucifix in the quote-unquote artist's urine. can you imagine a picture of muhammad in urine what would happen haven't? but yet we're taught there's no bigger threat from the world of islam than there is from the world of christianity. that's taught at here and virtually every university in america. >> dennis prager, where can people hear your radio show. >> guest: at it national. go to dep nit and i have something that i am trying to undo the dam of the
university, called prager we got the finest thinkers in the world in very sophisticated -- just five minutes, all i ask people for is five minutes, prager i'm trying to do with whatever god gives me more to live and with the health and energy i have, to undo the damage that is being done by leftism, and the sad part is -- i know this because my extended family is mostly liberal, and i love them. and so i always think of them whenever i attack leftism. am i attacking my dear extend family and not my immediate family. thank god my boys are conservative. but i love them. and i know they're good: and -- but i believe they've been misled because all you study from elementary school to graduate school is from the left. it is a brain wash. if all you studied was evangelical christianity, from
childhood to graduate school, wouldn't the liberals say you were brainwashed? why isn't it true if you just get secular leftism from elementary school through graduate school. do you know that here in cast textbooks are enough by will you -- must include the contributions of the transgendered? by law. you will have to have pages on transgendered contributions. people who were crossed over sex, or dressed in the other sex. clothing. isn't that absurd? isn't that totalitarian? i thought the purpose of the textbook was to tell the truth, not make groups feel good. but as i point out in the book, leftism is overwhelmingly rooted in feelings. >> host: dennis prager is the author. "still the best hope" is the name of his recent best seller.
louis from florida, you're on the air. you're talking with dennis prager. >> caller: i'd like to ask mr. prayinger and his ilk what he just said about truth, why should people believe the bible when that's the biggest novel ever written? who believes the earth is 5,000 years old? how can you follow a book that tells you the world is 5,000 years old and hisclass commentary about the christian schools and the seminary, how does he say something like that and he wants to be honest? i know this man is a right winger, and he wouldn't fifth credit to anybody, but my main question is, why is he so hung up on religion when religion is just a false pretense? answer me -- >> host: all right, louis, we got the response. let get a response. >> guest: okay. first of all, i don't know
anybody and i am rather deeply involved in the christian and jewish world who believe the world is 5,000 years old. there are some people who do. i don't give a hoot. i think the universe is 13.7 billion years old. whatever science tells me, and proves, i believe. so it's a nonissue to me. don't read the bible for geology. i read the bible for moral guidance. so did every founder of this country, including jefferson. jefferson removed the miracles but jefferson wanted -- you know what jefferson wanted the seal of the united states to be? you can look it up on the internet jefferson some franklin called deities, the seal of the united states was to be the jews leaving egypt. that how steeped in the bible jefferson was, not to mention adams and washington and so on. that's where we got the idea that we get our rights from a creator that comes from that
ok. doesn't come from dna. doesn't come from darwin. values don't come from secularism. secularism doesn't have a value system. secularism is the absence of religion but the judeo^- christian value system gave us our values. if god doesn't say do not murder, murder is not wrong. this drives people crazy and i have debated this at oxford and elsewhere, and the leading athiest philosophers all agree if there is no god the wrongness of murder is soley a matter of personal opinion. i like yellow, you like blue, i like murder, you don't like murder. only there there is a god who says do not murder is wrong. so i'm very fearful for the united states dropping the bible in favor of, you now what? feels. because i don't trust the human heart very much. >> in the section of your book,
the moral record of islam, allah alone runs the world, reason some nature have no say, you write, and that is probably the primary reason why, after a certain date, science ceased to most likely could not develop in the musli world. >> guest: i back that up. we talked about leftism the whole time but the book, after all is bat islamity. there's islam and then there's islamism. islamism is the believe that sharia should govern the society. that's what i'm worried about. i'm not worried about the moderate muse him. it's no nonissue to me and the secular muse limit i'm worried the muse him going society. there was a terrible battle, and i back this up. 400-footnotes in the book. a terrible battle during the early middle ages within islam.
do things happen because they happen or solely because d/ls it? andhelie -- the allah wills it team, as it were, prevailed. so the example given, if an arrow hits its target it's not because of wind velocity of the ability of the archer it's solely because allah willed it and so reason some obviously science ultimately became rather rare in a major part of the islamic world. >> host: dennis prager, miguel, posts on four facebook pain for you, the left is for the state to play a fair arbiter and equalized role, once achieved the state fades away in prager's view, however, corporate, religion, and social darwinism should be the rule that opresses
the masses and benefits the few. >> guest: okay. the state fading away, if my -- i stud yesterday marxism at the school of international affairs so i'm very familiar with that. everything marx predicted did nod come through. this is one of them. the state doesn't fade away. it always gets bigger. i don't know writ is getting smaller on earth or ever got smaller. it gets smaller only if conservatives prevail, margaret thatcher or the late grate ronald reagan. if willfully it is made small. that is by the way the american ideal, this person obviously, god bless them, doesn't agree with the american ideal of small government about i have a motto, and it is a truism. the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. as the go gets bigger, you and i get smaller. as the government gets smaller, we get bigger. we take care of our neighbor.
we take care of ourselves. we take care of our families. instead, as in europe, the government is everything. the biggest concern of most europeans is, can i work fewer hours and how many trips can i take because now it's a human right in europe to travel? we have had -- why did we have -- why do americans give so much more charity than europeans? why? are we born better? of course not. we give far more charity than europeans because the european has been taught, you don't have to take care of anyone. the state will do it. and why? why are lefties proud of that? what is beautiful about that? i conclude a mars cyst because the state will take care of my neighbor. cohad a huge demonstration on behalf of legal marijuana. wow. if my child had gone to a, let's celebrate legalized marijuana i
would have believed i failed as a parent utterly. the mass simple involved here, that is what preoccupies you. you're now a free to get high on marijuana. just think about what animates a lot of people? it's just painful, frankly. so, this -- and social darwinism? is this what the left uses to attack the belief -- i don't even know what belief they're attacking. what about social darwinism? that the talented and the harder working get ahead? why is that darwinism? why didn't that merit? i have in there from -- i believe it's a harvard economist, a princeton economist actually. man won a nobel peace nobel pri. and he shows how much more television poorer people watch than richer people, because richer people don't have the time to watch tv. they work so hard to get ahead.
this doesn't mean that poor people don't work hard but on average, in america, by and large, there is a correlation between hours worked and income. by and large, of course there are exceptions at both ended. >> host: booktv is on the campus of the university of southern california "the los angeles times" festival of book, and matthew in portland, oregon, you're on with dennis prager. >> caller: good morning, mr. prager, pleasure to talk with you. >> guest: thank you. >> yeah. trying tomorrow my original question because you said so much. i appreciate you comments. you mentioned a comment earlier in the interview about how the left sees making you-topia on earth and religion is more about utopia in the afterlife. i would say that u.s. history,
especially revolutionary history, is that the founding of the country and the special values we have are all men created equal, and all those special things that are new to the world, not necessarily making utopia, but all those -- wasn't just sitting back and accepting what was. it was trying to make it better. how do you respond? >> guest: that's good. thank you very much. of course -- look, my whole point of the writing of the book is that we have the best system for making a better society. a better society is not utopia. the president of the united states, five days before he was elected, said to a very large crowd in five days -- the fir election -- in five days we'll fundamentally transform the united states of america. i don't want to fundamentally transform america. utopians want to fundamentally transform america.
i want to improve america. not fundamentally transform it. that's the utopian streak at the hart of leftism. we can make a world where there is no suffering, no evil. of course it's a beautiful goal, but to have it as a reality? everyone who has tried to make a you utopia, my viewer, everyone, everyone who has tried to make utopia on earth has made hell on earth. those who want to incrementally improve it make a much better place. >> host: from our twitter page, carol romano asks: mr. prager, why are liberals so vested in box -- boston bombers being home-grown white terrorists. >> guest: there was an article on a liberal web site, where the author, a man i debathed once -- debated once, said he hopes it is a white american, home-grown
american. can you imagine had somebody written an article, i hope it's a black? or i hoch it's -- i hope it's a middle middle easterner? can you imagine the tsunami of con tell he would have received? look, that man and others don't want to recognize that there really is a moral problem within islam today. that to say that means you're a hater. we can't say truths. if you're against affirmative action, you're a racist. if you are -- if you think the human fetus has any rights more than a dog or as much as a dog, you're a sexist. if you think summary judgment be defined as a man and a woman, then you're a homophob. there's a one-word label for all of us that is thrown out.
so if i say, yes there is a bigger moral problem in the world today in the world of islam, an the clippity or buddhism or hinduism, then you're an islamophobe. so, therefore no debate is necessary. and that its the reason they do it, because, as i have found and had on my radio show the greatest, most of the biggest leftist names, except "new york times" columnists. they don't go on shows. tom freedman will go on npr but not on any of the conservative talk show hosted. i don't blame him, even though we will treat him perfectly decency and i'm known for treating folks i disagree with decently. that's why they come on. i just had on the great university of chicago professor, one of the leading names on the left, and he was delighted to be on and we don't agree on anything. but my motto on my show is, i prefer clarity to agreement. so, if i clarify where i differ
with the left or whomever, good. back to this. to merely say that there is more of a moral problem today in the islamic world than in the christian or jewish or buddhist or hindu is to be called names. people are afraid of being called names. i'm not. and it shuts up a lot of people. >> host: kathy in west mont, illinois, go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: mr. prager, i have a question. one of my questions for you is, can you name any society that you're aware of that doesn't suffer from deep levels of poverty that is not crime-ridden? >> host: kathy, can you very quickly explain what you anymore. >> guest: can i name a society that is crime ridden that does not suffer from deep poverty. the point being that there is only crime where there is
poverty, is that -- first of all, every society has poverty. and i would turn the question around. were the impoverished ancestors of virtually every living american criminals? my grandparents had less money in absolute and relative terms than the average poor person today. the thought that my grandparents would have committed a crime is laughable because they were religious jews who had a value system that never said, if you're poor, you can rape. so it's unbelievable to me to ascribe evil to poverty. >> host: dennis prager, elizabeth posts on facebook, on a personal level, what has been the hardest challenge in your life and how did you get through it? >> guest: the hardest challenge on a permanent level?
or an idealal. >> host: personal. >> guest: divorce after 17 years was a terribly painful thing. terribly. and you build hopes, you have dreams, and they -- and you have a child, and it's all very painful. i am very open on my radio show, as i am here. people know about my life. i don't think there is a closer second to that. i had eave dream of a picket fence, not necessarily dogs but -- my wife wanted dogs. i'm currently married to the love of my life, and she loves dogs. i like dogs for the record. don't love them. >> host: next call for dennis prager comes from dennis in st. louis, missouri. >> guest: i bet you dennis is over 50. are you over 50? >> caller: i sure am.
over 070. >> guest: there are no young denniss. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: i'm also jewish, and i've been interested in our york for along time. not bass i afree with you but because i enjoy disagreeing with you. quickly, and make you have already answered this, from a jewish perspective, how do you explain why so many jews seem to support a much larger role for the state than you die and even why so many jews are more critical of israel than you are? which by criticism i don't me support -- mean supporting the palestinian cause. and then a comment -- also a retired teacher and i thought you inflated the power of teach -- not the power of teacher unions over bread and butter issues about i thought you inflated the influence of teacher unions over what is actually taught too -- to students.
>> guest: not. by state law. >> host: dennis? very quickly, we'll get mr. prayinger to respond do you listen to his radio program? do -- >> caller: i read a few of the books and articles, and occasionally have gone on c-span to pick up other programs. i use your web site a lot to listen to interviews. so -- >> host: , thank you, sir. >> guest: all right. well -- >> thinks for call. >> guest: why are jews on the left is a very complex question, and i could devote the hour it to but i won't. so here in a nutshell. when jews left judaism, they stayed religious but the religion tray affirmed tenned to be any form of leftism rather than judaism. this it not a condemnation or insult. it's a description. jews have been taught by judaism to make a better world. that is the message of the prophets. and if they warrant going --
weren't going to do it through -- teach the world god is the source of ethics and demands ethical behavior -- they did it through secular ideas. they rejected religiousity and accepted a new religiousity which is secular. many people describe marxism as secular. here's an interesting statistic and at it in my book. didn't come up with this, a professor at brandeis university did. the most procommunist press in the 1930s, outside of the soviet union or inside the united states was the yiddish press. jews took a new religion as as substitute for judaism and that was, you name it, feminism, environmentalism, marxism, socialism, and for some even communism. but jews love-isms.
they create new moms and every one will make this great world and in state of using the -- their religion that came with being jewish, and it's a very sad development to me. >> host: still the best hope. nancy is in georgia. go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: hi everybody. hello, mr. prager. this is the first time unfortunately i have ever heard your name, although you're very interesting. >> guest: where do you live? >> caller: i live in south of atlanta in georgia. >> guest: i'm on atlanta every day for three years. >> i'll have to listen. i'm a wherein christian, aim neither left nor right. i think that both arecast casting stones and they're corporate owned. jesus said we're all one and
within that i'm often troubled by the talking headed of bowling sides -- i don't mean that as a percentage you'retive -- where they don't do anything to reach out one to the other. i found our biggest problem is reaching across laterally, and it seems that the talking folks on both sides tend to help -- >> guest: what do you mean by reaching out? does it mean agreeing with the other? dialoguing? on my she, have the leading spokesman whenever possible from the left. is that reaching out? if so, i'm innocent of your charge. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: actually wasn't a charge. at it simply an observation, and i have never heard you and i will seek you out. >> guest: that's right. i'm not -- i'm an example . >> have heard other folks.
what i find is a lot of talk that separates us and i'm talking about the everyday people, which is what i am. i find that rather than when we talk laterally, what i hear or a lot of talking points from both sides instead of, i am 69 and i have been around jesus for along time and i really believe he didn't stutter, and i never hear his words put out in terms of reaching -- coming together and trying to resolve our differences. because we are diverse. it's in our differences that are constantly reinforced that create the problem. the other question i have for you if i may is, i consider myself a clip of there are christian of neither party but many on the right would call me more to the left because we're all one. and i'm wondering why the christian left is often ignored and are they not viable? and my final question is, do you really believe, because i lived in ireland marx i father was
irish, rest his soul. do you really believe the rest of the world do not have comparable value inside i wish you blessings. thank you very much. >> guest: i wish you blessings, too that's correct. don't think the rest of the world has comparable values. that exactly right. if i thought so, not only would i have not written the book, i would have abandoned the belief that there is better and worse in the universe. you believe jesus has better values. who doesn't believe that what they believe in has a better value system? if my value system isn't better than every other -- then i will adopt the one that is better. i have one life to live on this earth and i want to live it with the beth values i can find. if it's not the american value system i'll take leftist or islamic put this system of in god we trust has deviced the most egalitarian society in that
there's -- in that there's such fluidity between the classes or among theocracies and it has given more people more prosperity, given more people more liberty, more opportunity, than any societyn the hoyt of the world. you judge an ideaolly it fruit. i like the american fruit. it's given people blessings. it gave two brothers blessings kuo who decided to then murder the people who blessed them. a little sick. but, yes, of course i believe ours is a better value system. just as you believe jesus is a better value system. and by the way northern who believed in jesus founded this country. but they understood that the -- that it wasn't jesus alone that was necessary. that you needed small government and that you needed from many, one, which is the statement that race and nationality don't matter. >> host: dennis prager, nancy also talked about lateral reaching out. a lot of talk in washington -- >> guest: well, the reaching
out, there were two separate -- the reaching out between republicans and democrats. look, that is a tactical question. on the larger question of the society, what is reaching out mean? we conservative talk show hosts have leftists on routinely. not just myself mitchell -- myself. my colleagues have leftists on regularly. they never have us on. never. msnbc is virtually devoid of any of the ideas you just heard. npr is virtually devoid. pbs is virtually tee void of -- devoid of it. not to mention the universities. we, are very happy to debate. i have offered -- i would love to see a debate between paul cordman and the head of the cato institute, for example. i think we should try to raise
$100,000 for cancer research, paul klugman debate an economist, or two or throw on each side. but they don't debate. they call us names. of you believe marriage should be between a man and am woman you are called a hater. who wants to debate haters? i wouldn't debate the klu klux klan. that's how the left feels. i you're not on the left you're a hater. you are sexist intoll rant, racist and big gotted. howard dean, candidate for u.s. president, said that republicans that go to bed at night not caring about the welfare of children. this is typical of how we are perceived. and that's what sustains leftism. because right -- the right must be so awful i better be on the
left because i have good heart. >> host: where do you grow up in. >> caller: brooklyn new york. my father, who is still with us, is 94, and will be on my radio show on his birthday as he has been every day for years. was until very recently a certified public account. i'm one of his clients and he is very, very good and his rate was great. i must say that, too. aside from everything else. my mother, during her heyday, she ran a 300 bed nursing home. and she passed away three years ago. >> were they consecutive? >> guest: that's a very interesting question, were they conservative. i was raised -- brooklyn jew, columbia university, give me a break. you're going to be a democrat. it comes in your birth certificate. the first republican i ever
voted for was reagan and i voted for jimmy carter first term. what in values i think ultimately the values i got at home were conservative. but the -- but we were democrats. that was a given. but what got me -- this is what got me. because fighting evil is the single biggest passion of my life, and i knew that communism was as genocidal0s naziism, i didn't understand how the left could condemn anticommunism. and they did. they didn't defend communism -- some did but most didn't. but they did cop dem anticommunist. that what turned me away. if you can't say that communism is the greatest evil of our post-nazi era, then you're moral compass is broken, and indeed the leftist moral compass is
broken. >> host: your parents make a cameo in "still the best hope" when you're talking about the section, why the left succeeds, talking about second hand smoke. >> guest: you really read it carefully empathetic -- hit historia is a left wing myth ol'. there was no epidemic of heterosexual aids in america. the number of girls dying of anorexia was exaggerated by feminists by a number of a thousand. the number of homeless in the america was ay number. mick snider who made it up admitted it on abc tv and then committed suicide. the number of hysterias and second hand smoke is an example.
>> next call for den anything -- dennis prager from bob in california. >> caller: how you doing. where to start here. it's hard for me to know where to pick up on any of your statements. for instance, your generalizations are rather all-come patting. the statement the jews accommodated communist as a new religion -- >> guest: i said leftism, and -- i said leftism and i said the yiddish press was the most pro communist press in america in the 1930s. i'm very careful with me language. most jews were not communist or pro communist, and i never said they were. >> host: go ahead, bob. >> caller: what was a different statement. those are two separate statements you made at different times. you said definitely said that
jews. thought communism as the new religion. >> guest: sir, sir, i'm sorry. i don't know what the routine is here. i let people who differ with me have all the time they want on my show and this is not my show but you cannot say what is not true and then pass over it. i said, when jews abandoned judaism, they've stayed religious in their desire to make a better world, and picked a whole owes of other ismss, and i said, a few communism. that is what i said, sir. aviate all on tape. >> host: go ahead, finish your statement. >> caller: well, i was going to say there is no question about the fact he said that talking about communist, and instead of saying some jews, it was jews. the statement that you made about the reporters saying, gentleman threw some stones and he was no gentleman.
you know, that's really pretty much nitpicking. i was a journalist in chicago, and back in the '50s when we covered a lot of race riots, when blacks were moving into neighborhoods and the people who were rioting were not -- were mostly the people i talked to were right-wingers. so, most of these statements that jew make are -- that you make are so general in their makeup. i was -- >> host: all right, bob, let's get a response. dennis prager. >> guest: okay. there's nothing to respond to. he didn't say anything i said was wrong. thank you for calling. >> host: joe, posts on facebook, how problematic is the modern culture that revels in sib simple, profanity and consumerism to the project of american renewal? >> guest: there is consumerism, cynicism, and what was the do.
>> host: profanity. >> guest: they all have different origins. don't have this belief that consumerism is this great evil that people say. every year i defend people who buy a christmas gift, for example. i think that it's one of the most beautiful traditions in america that people spend time thinking about what will make a relative or friend happy on christmas. itch people think that's a disgusting part of the culture we have a different value system. is christmas made too consumerist? i just ask people who say that -- every good thing can be taken to an extreme. so, of course, you could have too much vitamin c. you can have too much water. but in general, i think that it's a credit to christianity that there is a holiday where millions of people, where the bulk of osite, things about buying people things that will bring them joy.
so i don't buy the consumerist problem. the consumerism keeps people consumerism keeps people employed. it enables people to have a job. to bring food to their family. cynicism, i think we are raising a jaded -- i would use jaded more than cynical -- i think there's a lot of jadedness among you can people because they're sexualized so early. this is a real tragedy and it's a discussion for a whole other time. why that is happening. kids who have early section toned be jaded and that is a problem. and the third was, again, simple cynicism -- >> pro fan it in. >> guest: i have a chapter on profanity. with the death of the judeo^- christian value system, the concept of the holy and the division between holy and profane is obliterated and so a lot of folks on the secular left
curse publicly, and i actually document it. where cursing -- now, everybody -- most people, including myself, will use a curse word in private. i don't do it a lot but i do it. but public, that's a different thing. it's like public nudity. san francisco had a 7-6 vote outlawing public nudity but a lot of san franciscans don't see anything wrong with it. secularism has effect. the notion that we're created in god's inning and shouldn't have our genitals exposed like an animal is a religious idea. with the death of religion nobody sees wrong with people walking around naked. >> host: your book has been sitting on the table and a lot of crowd here. people have been walking by saying, is dennis prager going to be on? yes, good. is dennis prager going to be on? yes. real 50-50 here. everybody has an opinion.
>> guest: at the l.a. book fair at usc, if it's 50-50, i'm doing very well, i must say. so i'm very happy to hear it. look, i care about everything or nearly everything that folks on the left say they care about. compassion, goodness, concern for others, but i think leftism hurts those causes. so, i'm a bigger problem to them than the guy who just shouts at them. and i come from within that world. i understand it. and i think that it's intellectually and morally unsound, and because i'm not a yeller or screamer or hater or any of that, that's why people on the left who do come on feel so comfortable coming on. i just gave you one example recently.
howard zen, the biggest of all the leftist historians came on my show, and i asked him point blank, i said, professor, would the world had been better had there never been a united states of america and he says he ising a not stick on the -- agnostic on the issue. i wonder how many people who assign his book -- the most widely assigned history book in the united states by teachers. i wonder how many would agree with that? maybe the world really would have been better had there never been a u.s. >> host: the internet tweets in this guy wants big government to outlaw marijuana. >> guest: yes, that's right, i do. i'm not an an anarchist. that's correct. this notion that you're for small government,or to no government, never bought.
there are things i would like to see to continue to be -- i don't want any new bans. but i have -- had marijuana been lega f the last 50 years i would have said nothing, but to introduce it as a new innovation, it will only have a dill deleterious effect on society. awoman wrote a thoughtful letter. she loves my show. was extremely lauder to but she said she has marijuana every night. she smokes marijuana every night. and she has two kids, a husband, you know, she is -- has all these wonderful values and i believe her. i wrote her back this. i said, you know, i smoke a cigar and a pipe. i have since high school. and i have smoked in front of my children from birth. they're very healthy, incidentally. they don't appear to be dying of second hand smoke anymore i am
from my parents' second hand smoke. i said i'm curious. would you smoke your marijuana in frontoff our children like i smoke my cigar? i didn't get a response. and i'm not saying that she doesn't have one. but i didn't -- i can't give you her response. everyone knows there's a difference between marijuana and tobacco or even -- my father had his scotch on the rocks every night. but i would have been a different person if my father had a joint every night. >> host: final comment from viewer. jillian, asks: do you ever regret not running for office? >> guest: yes. >> host: will you ever run for office? >> guest: i don't think so. but i -- look, i live in california, so it rapiders running for an office as a republican a form of kamikaze activity. but the other is i'm torn -- two quick things i want to say on this. one is i don't want power.
i want influence. i want to touch people's hearts and minds. politicians have power. a talk show host with millions of listens and a writer of books that people read influences people's thinking. i'd rather do that than have power. the other is i don't have the money to run. thanks to campaign finances reform, essentially only the very wealthy can run. that's one of the ironies of campaign finances reform. but i -- yes, i debate whether i should have often. >> host: dennis prager is most recent book, best seller, still the best hope, why the world needs american values to triumph. this is booktv on c-span2. and we are continuing our live coverage from the university of southern california. "los angeles times" festival of books. coming up in just a minute you'll have chance to talk with
"new york times" columnist michael moss: "salt, sugar, fat. hough the foot joineds hooked us" i this name of the book. a winner of the pulitzer prize. first we want to introduce you to two men who are responsible for this book fest. >> we're joined by the publisher of "the los angeles times" and max, who is the president of the university of southern california. gentlemen, thanks for being here with us on booktv. mr. hartenstein, why sponsor a book fair? >> because books are the core and the essence of everything that our readers and our audience believes in here in southern california, the nation, and indeed even around the world, whether it's on print, or through digital media. it's the core of what it is we do. it's not just books. it's literature of all types, and it comes and is appearing on
appliances that even a few years ago we had never thought of. so that's why we're here. it's the largest festival of this kind across the country. it's getting better every year. this is our 18th year. third year here at usc. we couldn't be happier. and what beautiful weather. it's california. >> host: chamber of commerce weather day that's for sure. why host a book fest? >> guest: it's for the university of southern california, our campus is in downtown los angeles, and we are the largest not only private employery the city of l.a. today but also the largest private university west of the mississippi. and given the great extra television and collaboration we have d -- the great tradition and collaboration with "the los angeles times," it was very fitting to host "the los angeles times" festival of books. , in:
... >> demonstrate what they do, talk r latest recipes and cookbooks, okay? and we have a music station, we have a feature within l. a. that's called pop and hiss which is a throwback to the predigital days of audio when you get the crackle and the pop
and the hiss on your old vinyl platters that you're spinning around at 33 and a third or 78 rpm. and we have local bands today, so we just keep expanding. this is a cultural event. as max indicated, they've been here since 1880, we're the new kids on the block. we were founded in 1881, also in downtown los angeles. [laughter] so i was a year young younger, but nevertheless, these are the two institutions of california. southern california. oh, hell, all of california. why not? >> yeah. we are the two longest surviving known religious institutions of the city of los angeles, usc and the l.a. times. >> well, given what happened in boston just last week, 150,000 people expected out here on your campus. >> yes. >> did you take any extra precautions? >> oh, absolutely. this past whole week our department of public safety, which is the university police
department, worked very closely with the l.a. times, and there is very increased police presence, security presence on campus today and tomorrow. >> eddy, you didn't just pop out of thin air to become the publisher of the l.a. times. give us just a quick background. >> oh. personally, well, i've known your founder, c-span's founder since 1981, actually. i believe that what c-span's core mission is, is to shed a light, open up the mystery around our government. and in many ways i tried to help in whatever way i could including when we started directv which is more than just the first satellite company. i headed that up. but it was really the -- we brought the adjective "digital"
to television and the whole industry. i know cable founded c-span, but we were one of the first even when we only had a few channels to carry c-span and c-span2 everywhere, to all that w delivered. and i left directv, but that's a tradition i'm glad to say as an ex as directv alum that they have continued on. and in many way, after a brief retirement, me coming to be the publisher of the l.a. times is sort of a furtherance of what i believe in, and that is democracy will not work, okay, without a free, vital and independent third, fourth estate, excuse me. fifth estate is intelligence. but you guys are continuing to do, god love you for over 30 years, what we are trying to do of 134 years and max's, to bring education about government, about what goes on for us to
everybody as best as we possibly can. by whatever means. so that's what i believe in, and keep up your great mission. >> well, what's the current status, if i may ask, about the l.a. times, its potential sale? >> l.a. times is part of the tribune company which through a variety of machinations over the last five or six years had to come out of a bankruptcy. it has come out with all of tribune publishing and all of tribune broadcasting in excellent shape. there are eight different publications within the tribune company. just only this monday there were a until of seven mentions -- a total of seven mentioned tribune employees and writers with pulitzer. our south florida paper, excuse me, our orlando sentinel paper
won the grand prize for journalism. the l.a. times alone, we had three finalists in three categories, a long legacy of some 43 pulitzers over its history. so we're a very proud bunch. we are looking, the company is and its new board, at how and what they might do with perhaps looking at separating the publishing from the broadcasting part of the, of the company. and seeing where that leads us. many other companies are doing similar things right now. to allow the publishing group to focus on what it does best and broadcast television on what it does best. so we haven't made any decisions yet. it's a process that's ongoing, and we will continue to evaluate that and see where it goes later this year. >> if you allow, we owe our athletics' nicknames, the trojans, to the l.a. times. in 1912 it was an l.a. times
sports writer who referred to the usc student athletes for the very first time as the trojans. [laughter] >> well, max, you, too, didn't just pop out of thin air to become president of usc. your bio, please. >> we have something more in common with eddy, we're both electrical engineers. so i've been at usc for 23 years as a professor of electrical engineering, and in particular in the processing, all the digital world he's referring to are in my area of expertise. and this is the end of, almost the end of my third year. prior to that i was the provost of the university, and before that the dean of the engineering school. >> i tell you that some of max's colleagues, including one of his board of trustee members, andy, were key in coming up with the idea, the algorithms of how to make digital television and digital processing work. >> right. >> so that, you know, people all
across the country can enjoy c-span, among other channels, in glorious high definition. and do it, hopefully, with satellite dishes wherever they are in the country. >> every cell phone or every encoder, decoder, it has at least the algorithm. >> well, let's finish up here by getting back to books. and i want to ask you both what are you currently reading and, perchance, what's on your summer reading list? >> well, i love reading biographies, and, therefore, actually, it did get my attention the biography of ulysses grant which i have begun reading, who saved the union. and i did read the biographies of cher november, george washington and alexander hamilton. so this is the books that i read
these days. [laughter] >> eddy? >> i have just finished up one of our own writers, jim newton's biography of eisenhower. i know that it came out almost a year ago, but i'm a little behind because i've actually been spending most of my time proofing the galleys of your founder's new book. [laughter] and, you know, it's working title is in search of the -- [inaudible] it's an accounting of dry cleaning and laundry established across these grand 50 states which brian lamb has personally visited on all the trails, you know, spreading the gospel of c-span. and it's coming to bookstores very soon. i'm almost through with the final galley editing and look for it coming soon. >> you know what? i'm not sure if that's going to make it a final product.
[laughter] >> well, people don't realize that we, we are, we are in the midst of the renaissance of the reading word in the books. because since the the invention of the printing press by guttenberg around 1450, so here we are 5, 550 years later that in your palm you can have a book and read it. so thanks to the digital revolution. >> max nikis is the president of usc. eddy hardenstein, thanks for being on booktv. >> host: and our live coverage from the l.a. times festival of books continues on the campus of the university of southern california. and now another opportunity for you to call in and interact with an author, and this is the pulitzer prize-winning michael moss. and his new book "salt sugar
fat: how the food giants hooked us." mr. moss, what happened in indianapolis in april of 1999? >> i start the book with that meeting pause it's so informative of the industry's attitude and strategies. is1999, the obesity epidemic was just beginning to emerge and raise concern not only among consumer activists and nutritionists, but among people inside the processed food industry. they gathered together for a very rare meeting, ceos of some of the top manufacturers in north america who got together at the old minneapolis headquarters, the old pillsbury headquarters in minneapolis to talk about none other than this emerging crisis, really, for the industry. and up in front of them got none other than one of their own. his name was michael mud, he was
the vice president of kraft. he was armed with 114 slides and laid at the feet of these ceos and presidents of these largest food companies responsibility for the, notnle obesity crisis, but he cited the rising cases of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease. he even linked their foods with several cancers. and he pleaded with them to collectively start doing something on behalf of consumers. because michael mud knew that the competition inside the food industry, and, you know, it's funny, because you walk into the grocery store, and it seems so tranquil. soft music playing, doing everything they can to encourage you to shop and buy. but behind the scenes the food industry is intensely competitive. and he understood that. the only way to sort of move the industry, budge them toward a healthier profile of their products would be to get them
collectively to do something. from his vantage point, the meeting was an utter failure. the ceos reacted defensively. they said we have lo-fat this, low sugar, if they really want that, they can buy those alternative products. we are beholden both to consumers and our own share holders. they left the meeting basically going back to what they've been doing and continue to do which is having a deep reliance on salt, sugar and fat. >> host: so what are processed foods? how do you define them? >> guest: you know, processed foods, and i'm mostly looking at what people call ultra processed food. because, look, even a baby carrot can be defined as a processed food because it doesn't grow that way in the ground. it's a regular carrot that gets shaved into the baby form. but typically, from my sense, processed foods are those things that talk sort of natural
ingredients and highly refine them, highly process them, and the formulas, too, of the products that i'm writing about in the book are incredibly dependent on salt, sugar or fat. and it's not, it's not a mystery. you can pick up the label, and you can see thanks to some goth regulation -- government regulation that we have and labeling requirements, you can see the amounts of salt, sugar and fat in these items, and it's rather extraordinary. across the board of the grocery store just how reliant the industry is on these three ingredients not just for flavor, but for convenience because they can act as preservatives and also for low cost because they can help the industry avoid using more costly ingredients like fresh herbs and spices. >> host: so, michael moss, what do you mean when you talk about mouth feel and bliss point? >> guest: you know, i'm trained as an investigative reporter to follow the money. and in the processed food industry i had a trillion
dollars worth of monies to follow and explore. and there was certainly ample amounts of that. i was lucky enough to come across a trover of internal documents -- drove of internal -- trove of internal documents that put me at the table as these largest companies are planning, plotting, formulating their way to creating new products. but i have to say the most fun for me was hearing the language that they use in talking about their own foods. i mean, these are not english majors, these are scientists and marketers and ceos. and mouth feel is the term that they use to describe the warm, gooey sensation when you bite into a toasted cheese sandwich. it's not one of the basic tastes that aristotle wrote about many, many years ago. fat is a sensation that's picked up by a nerve ending that reaches to the top of your mouth. when you bite into a fatty substance like cheese, it sends
a signal just like salt and sugar to the pleasure center of your brain. but they describe the fatty n ste as mouth feel and, boy, is it an allure. it's a powerful ingredient for them in part because of its allure as sugar and salt. >> you write: the blood gets especially besieged when processed food is ingested. flooding the system with its heavy loads of salt, sugar and fat. but where the links between eating and drugs get really interesting is in the brain. there narcotics and food, especially food that is high in salt, sugar and fat, act much alike. once ingested, they race along the same pathways using the same neurological circuitry to reach the brain's pleasure zones, those areas that reward us with enjoyable feelings for doing the right thing by our bodies. >> guest: boy, there is, there is no word the processed food
industry hates more than the a word, addiction. and i do try to use it sparingly because they can rather convincingly argue that there are some differences between food cravings and narcotic cravings, certain technical thresholds. however, when they talk about the allure of their foods, again, their language can be so revealing. they use words like craveable, snackable, moorishness. and i was rather skeptical about using the term addiction at all when it comes to food, until i spent time with the head of the national institute on drug abuse outside of washington. she is a neuroscientist who has studied how the brain reacts both to narcotics and the most highly palatable, the sweetest, the fattest foods. and she's found that for many of us the fat itself, sweetest foods -- fattest, sweetest foods will create compulsive patterns
of intake much along the lines of some narcotics. and she even goes further to empathize with people who have food cravings and can't control them because it's harder to deal with them than narcotics. because you just can't go cold turkey on food. we are bombarded every waking moment of our lives with advertising, marketing, people eating food and drinking as they're walking down the street. so it's really, really difficult for many of us to deal with food cravings. >> in your book, for obvious reasons, the word addiction is a particularly touchy subject among food manufacturers. they prefer saying a product is craveable, likable, snackable or almost anything other than saying it is addictive. for them the term addiction conjures images of strung-out junkies who hold up 7/eleven's at gun point for another fix. addiction also raises barbed legal issues that industry is loathe to engage.
is there, you talk about the fact that perhaps the food industry is scared of a tobacco-like settlement? >> guest: yeah. >> host: when it comes to processed foods? >> guest: i think increasingly today they're even more scared i'm told by people inside the industry and people that in washington as well who have been looking at the looming possibility of the attorneys who went after big tobacco going after big food. and, look, there are some differences between the two. as there are with narcotics. but i think especially the soda industry is really worried about litigation, and the food industry is worried about what might happen to the soda industry and that same litigation. because look, i mean, a number associated with obesity that's $300 billion. that's the estimate for how much obesity is costing us in north america every year from added medical expenses and lost productivity. and the last time i heard a number like that was in the
'90s when the states attorneys general sued big tobacco over their, the medical expenses they were incurring over treating people who were sickened by tobacco. and that was a much smaller number back then. so i think the industry is rightly concerned about litigation, perhaps even along those same lines. >> host: we're going to put the numbers up on the screen if you'd like to participate in the conversation with michael moss of the new york times. "salt sugar fat" is the name of his most recent book. 202-585-3885 in the east and central time zones, 585-3886 in the mountain and pacific time zones. send us a tweet, is our twitter address, and you can make a comment as well on facebook. now, michael moss, you spend quite a bit of time in your book talking about lunchables. what are lunchables, and why do
you use that as an example? >> guest: yes. lunchable is a tv dinner-type tray that's marketed to children. on one level it was the solution to the -- to a problem at oscar meyer, the meat company. back in the '80s people were eating less red meat, being concerned about saturated fat which is the type of fat that's associated with heart decide be you get too much of it and salt. people began eating less red meat, lunchables was worried about revenue, jobs, it assigned some of its smartest marketing people to figure out a way to repackage its products. and i spent time with bob grant, a genius marketing official who worked for oscar meyer and then kraft when oscar meyer merged. and he walked me through the incredible effort they put into coming up with the, a product that would sell red meat and not put people off like the packaged bologna that they were selling. and after months and months of research and study, his team
came up with the lunch ables. this little tray and in the original version it was a little, you know, slices of ham or bologna, a little with bit of cheese, crackers because they couldn't use bread, they needed something that would stay on the shelf. he did make an effort to make it more nutritionally balanced by adding fresh carrots and apple slices and immediately realized they would not last more than a week. much less the months that the lunchables needs to stay either in the warehouses or the supermarket waiting for someone to buy it. and after, i mean, it became a huge hit. the first year it exceeded, i think it hit $218 million in sales. it was astounding. nobody had expected it to take off like that. they came up with other lunchables including pizza lunchables, hamburgers, hot dogs, all eaten cold by kids. and when they stopped to think about it, they realized that it
wasn't the food that the kids were attracted to, it was the badge value, the status symbol of bringing this cute, adorable lunchables to the lunchroom, opening it up, and all your friends gathering around and seeing you put it together and eat it. so -- and they came up with this incredible marketing slogan hitting on that which is for kids, all day you've got to do what they say, but lunchtime is all yours. the marketing power as much as using salt, sugar, fat as ingredients is phenomenal in the industry. >> host: did they supersize the salt, sugar, fat? >> guest: oh, my gosh. so one of the items they came up with was the maxed-out lunchables which had so much salt, sugar, fat that for children it was basically maxing out their daily recommended loads for many of those things. i mean, hats off to kraft for recently dialing back the nutritional loads of the
lunchables and making them healthier. but one thing to remember about the lunchables is that they introduced fast food into the grocery store which really is a phenomenon that nutritionists now are sort of very worried about. because even to this day when we walk into the grocery store, i think we're inherently thinking, look, okay, there's soda there, and there's chips and candy and crackers, but i'm basically going in there to get food that's going to make me healthy and strong. and to have the grocery manufacturers start mimicking fast food and introducing it into the grocery store was with, is something of a grave concern to nutritionists. >> host: all right. before we go to calls, a couple of examples here that we have from the crew here at booktv and from myself, little healthy snacks to get across country, etc., etc. >> guest: yes. right, right, right. >> host: and here's two to start. this is a protein bar. what could possibly be wrong with this? >> guest: well, we'd have to
turn to the back and look at the fine print. and this is certainly one of the phenoms you've seen in the industry. protein is a big buzz word, so now you'll see that on the front, and on the back when you're reading the fine print there -- >> host: saturated fat, 3.5 grams, 18% daily allowance. >> guest: it's actually a lowball figure. if you follow the usda guidelines, that 3.5 grams is actually more than 18% of your daily -- especially for children. >> host: so what should we be looking for here? high maltose corn syrup. >> guest: it's sweeteners. sugar is sugar is sugar. i know that's disappointing for people who like to blame high-fructose corn syrup. >> host: right. >> guest: and there is certainly an issue of how it helped perpetuate the soda consumption in this country. but, basically, that's another type of sugar that you have to be concerned about not to eat too much. >> host: sodium, 170 milligrams. >> guest: that's a hefty amount.
the usda recommendation is that we move to eating no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day, so, you know, with that you're looking upwards of a sixth of the whole daily allotment. >> host: fruit snacks. these are fat-free, gluten-free and no preservatives. >> guest: yes. again, fruit is one of those healthy buzz words that the industry is putting on items throughout the grocery store, especially to pull you in. you know, as presenting these to kids who don't like fresh fruit. but what have we got for sugar on that? >> guest: sugar's 11 grams in this little pack. >> guest: so that's quite a bit. that's more than two tablespoons, teaspoons, and that's significant. >> host: now, these were somebody else's, but these are some chips. [laughter] >> guest: yes. you know, one of the fascinating things about chips, and i really took this to heart because i love potato chips. and as -- and i couldn't figure out why they really induce such
incredible cravings in people. and we all know that they're salty, and the salt is right there on the surface of the chips, providing what the industry calls the flavor burst. your saliva comes into contact with it first, races to the pleasure center of the brain which sends those signals, hey, that's great, let's eat more of that. we know they're soaked with fat. and that also gives the pleasurable feeling, what they call the mouth feel also races to the brain. but what i didn't know is that chips are also loaded with sugar, and it's in the potato starch itself which begins converting to sugar the instant it hits your tongue. so you've got the holy trinity there for the processed food industry of salt, sugar, fat all interacting not just to make you like the product, but to make you want more and more. and one last thing about chips, the noise. they did research showing that the more noise the chip makes
when you bite into it, the more you're going to want, the more you're going to eat. and so that's why that crunch is essential to sales. >> host: now, a lot of athletes drink this, so it's good for you, right? >> guest: well, look, all of this stuff, salt, sugar, fat, you know, my diet at home you can be largely looking at it as salt, sugar, fattal though we're doing our best to eat more of what everyone says to eat which is fresh fruit and vegetables. it's a matter of degree. and the interesting thing about the powerades, the sports drinks, the chocolate milk, the sweetened ice tea is that while our soda consumption has declined over the past decade, our consumption of these alternative products that don't immediately signal to us, hey, wait a minute, this is loaded with sugar too, has increased almost taking up the slack of the sodas. so that's another example of something to be wary of that's pitched as a healthy, as a
healthy food or drink, but you've really got to drink at the nutritional label to figure out just how much sugar is really in there. >> host: salt sugar fat is the name of the book, michael moss is the author. first call comes from derek in emporia, virginia, you're on booktv. >> caller: oh, good afternoon. >> host: please go ahead, sir. >> caller: oh, my question is, um, i've noticed that a lot of processed foods -- and, basically, foods that are terrible for you, they definitely affect inner city kids a lot more because it's cheaper for families in inner cities to buy food of that nature. and i was wondering, if fresh foods are so expensive, what is being done? is there a sense of urgency out there to really push the fact that these foods are terrible for you in these neighborhoods where they may not have that knowledge and information? and what is being done to somewhat lower the price of fresh foods so that people in these neighborhoods can afford to the buy this and be healthier? >> host: thank you, derek. >> guest: yeah, derek, you make
a really, really good point, and i spent time in a rather poor neighborhood of northern, north philadelphia to sort of understand that too. people talk about food deserts where people have very limited access to full grocery stores where they can buy fruits and vegetables. there it's really more of a food swamp because they're surrounded by corner stores that sell almost nothing but salt, sugar, fat; soda, snack cakes, chips and kids can run in there for a dollar and come out with 350 empty calories that they're often eating on the way to school. i happen to know that the white house is looking at ways to increase or rather lower the cost, make them more affordable, lower the cost of fruits and vegetables. and it's a really difficult upside taking that they're still grappling -- undertaking that they're still grappling with. but that's one thing they're looking at in order to level the playing field of the grocery store, because when you walk in as you point out, the highly
processed foods are more affordable. so even if you want to do the right thing by yourself and your family and eat more fruits and vegetables, you're going to pay for it through the pocketbook. and, yes, i think people are looking at strategies to try to level that out. >> host: mike tweets in to you, mr. moss, is the food industry pushing bad food on us or being compelled by popular tastes to make food taste a certain way? >> guest: it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing. i should point out that i don't view the processed food industry as this evil empire that intentionally set out to make us obese or otherwise ill. they are doing what companies do which is make more money by selling more product. and i think that they would be happy selling healthy knew trucksal products if they could do so at sort of the same low prices and to satisfy wall street. and that's one of the issues that's looming on them is that they're under severe pressure from wall street to keep profits up. i mean, that said, they have
shaped our palates, our liking for salt, sugar and fat in really incredible ways. and i'm struck especially by sugar. sugar used to be something you'd find in the grocery store in the ice cream aisle, candy aisle, cookies. now you see so many products in the store that are sweet. bread, pasta sauce can have as much sugar in a tiny little serving the equivalent of a couple of oreo cookies. yogurt, low-fat yogurt can have as much sugar as ice cream. and we've seen sweetness migrate across a store as the companies target our liking. we are hard wired for sugar. our bliss points, as they call it, for sugar, and they're especially targeting kids. one scientist explained to me, um, how they are exploiting the biology of the child by making children expect sweetness in almost everything they now eat and their parents buy in the
store. and i think that's the issue. >> host: have they changed the formula for ketchup? i saw -- i read a ketchup bottle last night. >> guest: right. >> host: and i saw high-fructose corn syrup as one of the main ingredients. >> guest: yeah. i'm not sure the year when they started adding sugar, but it's certainly hugely sweet these days. and as one of the food scientists explained to me, it allows them to actually avoid using more tomatoes. if the sure replaces tomatoes and is less expensive, by adding sugar to tomato products -- pasta sauces, ketchup, etc. -- they can use tomatoes that are not as naturally sweet and wholesome be as tomatoes are and cost less. so typically that is a move to reduce the cost of the product, and so much of the processed food industry is driven by cost. they call it the least cost formulation, and that's what they're lookingor their
manipulation and their strategies in formulation. >> host: rob, abilene, texas, we're talking with michael moss, the author of this book, "salt sugar fat." please go ahead. >> caller: yes. how do you balance our freedom of choice in america? you know, the great experiment, can man rule over himself with those who think they know best for us like bloomberg? is he right by saying i basically know better than you because you are addicted with this mouth feel, this flavor burst? do you, do you, um, have -- do you think the government should step in? >> guest: i'm empathetic with people who criticize bloomberg and call him bananas. we heard that decades ago when washington tried to regulate sugar and salt as well. um, but i think we have to remember that the playing field is not level. in the absence of government
intervention, what we have are incredibly big, incredibly smart companies spending tens of millions of dollars every year not just to get us to like their products, but to get us to want more and more. and so much of that targeting is aimed at children. and these are children who no longer get home economics in school. girls and boys used to be taught how to shop, how to cook, how to be nutritionally aware, and that fell by the wayside. and so kids are exposed to advertising, to marketing, to corner stores not knowing any better. and i think that's, i mean, that's the picture i think you have to grapple with when you're weighing sort of, you know, independence and big government intervention. >> host: do you eat any processed foods today? >> guest: oh, my gosh. look, i have two boys. will is 8, aaron is 13, my wife, eve, works outside of the home. i mean, not a week goes by when
we come home and have to, and have to go in the freezer and pull out something because it's 7 p.m., and we haven't thought about what we're having for dinner. you know, that said, we're trying. and so with our boys, for example, i make them pancakes in the morning, and i slip in whole wheat flour in the pan kicks, and -- pancakes, and they don't notice it. i also have a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer because they're much cheaper, and i slip those into their pancakes or waffles as well. eve the other day said to them, interestingly, hey, guys, why don't we limit our cold cereal consumption to brands with five grams of sugar or less. and now when we go shopping with them, it's a bit of a hunt. they'll look in the cereal aisle, and they'll pull the boxes off the label and look at the fine print, and they'll find brands that, in fact, have five grams or less. they're there. you can find healthy products in the grocery store if you look for them with cereal typically
they have to look low, near the ground, or i have to reach high up on the top shelf because the industry strategically places the most sugary brands at eye level so you gravitate to those when you walk down that aisle. but another really interesting thing happens, too, which is that we find that when we engage our kids in the discussion about nutrition just on a very elementary level and not, you know, you can't eat this, you can't eat that, but let's try to limit this for these reasons, i find that they're really smart, and they get it. and so when they bring those cheerios home that have just one gram of sugar or special k or total, they've been eating that lately, they actually like it better than they would otherwise. i mean, hey, if they had their druthers, they would probably pull the trix off the shelf or the flute loops and go for that -- fruit loops and go for that. but, again, i think education of the children is totally key moving forward. >> host: next call comes from
fred in tacoma park, maryland. hi, fremed. >> caller: hi. i just wanted to say that i stopped eating flour and sugar in 1990 and have lost 67 and a half pounds. i weigh and measure, but when i go to the store and we shop in supermarkets, we read the labels, and we avoid anything with a glucose, fructose, and, you know, there's a -- it's doable. it's not hard. we're not suffering. we eat very well. thank you. >> host: thank you. >> guest: yeah, no, that's good to hear. the one thing that i do hear from nutritionists is that they caution people is to try to avoid sort of focus on one of these elements, salt, sugar, fat, too much. because it really is about a balanced diet. and in some ways it sometimes plays into the hands of the processed food industry. the '80s were especially big for concerns about sugar. and so they would come up with
low-sugar products that would still be loaded with fats and salt, and the '90s were sort of more about trans fats, and they got rid of trans fats and replaced them with saturated fats which are a concern now. and, again, low-fat products can be super high in sugar and sodium, and now one of the biggest concerns is about salt too. i did some research looking at efforts by other countries to cut back on sodium, and places like britain and finland have really dramatically cut back on their sodium levels, but interestingly, the obesity rates are still starting to climb, are still climb anything those countries because those snacks that are lower in salt are still high in sugar and fat. so you do really have to be careful as a consumer to understand the big picture of what you're getting. >> host: you write in "salt sugar fat" that if something may say low-fat, they might -- the food manufacturer may bump up the sugar content. >> guest: bottom line, they have
to keep -- they feel they have to keep their products tasting utterly irresistibly tasty as before no matter how they might fiddle with the formula. that is the bottom line for the industry. and so, yes, on occasion they will bump up some of the other two elements if they reduce one of them. >> host: michael moss, how strong is -- tell us about the lobby. >> guest: the lobby? >> host: for the processed food industry. >> guest: there were efforts back in the late '670s, '80 to go after the marketing of sugary products to children especially. the old -- the federal trade commission was severely concerned about the inability of kids to distinguish between advertising and reality. and so huge a percentage of the ads they were getting -- and still are to some extent -- on saturday morning were for highly processed foods high in sugar especially, and they came up with a proposal to try to limit that advertising. it was going along fine, and the lobby of the food industry along with marketing industry just put
the kibosh on that. it's an incredible power, incredibly powerful force that people are going to have to deal with now as consumers are becoming more concerned about what we're putting in our bodies. you can't understate the ability of the processed food industry to sort of hold on to the marketing position that it has. >> host: and our next call comes from walter in washington, north carolina. hi, walter. >> caller: hi. this is about the recently the british and europeans found out they've been eating horse meat served by these processed food companies. i was wondering, could that happen here, or is it happening here? or that sort of -- follow up with that, please. >> guest: i think it absolutely could. before i was writing about "salt sugar fat," i was actually writing about pathogens in food. i started with an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts being processed down in southern georgia on the alabama border. they had an outbreak of deadly
salmonella in 2008, and i began looking at that. and the issue was that the food industry losing control over its vendors because over the following weeks and weeks the largest food manufacturers were scrambling to figure out if they even used any of these peanuts in their products. and then i moved to e. coli outbreaks in hamburger, and the same issue came up with that. so i think to some extent the issue with the horse meat scandal and pathogens is that the food industry has grown so global and so sensitive to pricing that many of these larger companies are buying ingredients from hundreds and hundreds of vendors around the world, and it's very difficult for them to monitor and to control the safety of those ingredients. i shifted to salt, sugar, fat because a source said to me, hey, michael, as tragic as some of these outbreaks are, there is
this other looming health crisis afoot, obesity, diabetes, etc., over which the industry has total control, absolute control. and which they're intentionally adding to products. so they're two separate issues of the same trillion dollar processed food industry. >> host: michael moss, ely anderson tweets in, soda is such a popular american drink, but do you believe it's as dangerous to the human body as a dangerous drug? >> guest: as a dangerous drug? i think, again, if you're looking at patternings of compulsive -- patterns of compulsive intake, for some people they're going to find it really hard to resist drinking too much soda. and, again, it's a matter of degree, i think. the other thing that's interesting to know about soda, especially coca-cola, it's so perfectly blended. the industry calls it, um, specific so tiety. and they have figured out by blending the ingredients in an item like coke so that you
don't, um, remember any single ingredient after you drink it, that will actually encourage you then to sort of come back to it hours later. it's a really, really interesting concept that the food industry uses. both in food and drink. >> host: next call for you comes from daryl in marana, arizona. hi, daryl. >> caller: hello. suburb of tucson. this is a little also beyond the three culprits of your current book, maybe you would write a book about what i'm bringing up if you haven't done so already, and that's the recent story if you would just share it with the audience about vegetable oil and the young, i think 15-year-old girl, who got on the internet and got thousands of people to complain to the makers of gatorade why is it in your gatorade, but it's banned in europe? and supposedly, gatorade took it out of their gatorade product, but it is still -- and i know
this for a fact -- it is still in their mountain dew. >> guest: you know, these companies are like big aircraft carriers. it really does take them time to turn sometimes. and especially when they're changing up the ingredients in their formulas. i mean, i think that's a good example of consumers becoming more concerned what they're putting in their bodies and becoming kind of like it was for me in researching and writing this book, getting inside a detective story. and one of the, one of the fascinating things about processed food is that you can go into the grocery store, pick up the box or the bottle or the container and look at the fine print and learn so much about that product. not just the salt, sugar or fat, but other additives and do your own detective work. and i think that's a real empowering thing for people. and i'm actually hoping that the book is not just a wake-up call for the industry, but is empowering for us as consumers.
because when you know everything that the industry is throwing at you whether it's a salt, sugar or fat or other additives, that -- i find that's really empowering as a consumer, and it helps you, it helps you deal. because, look, ultimately we're the ones who decide what to eat and how much to eat and what to buy. and that, i think, is a real position of power. >> host: well, the last two ingredients on gatorade or glit roll and bombulated vegetable oil like the caller mentioned. >> guest: so it's still in there. >> host: what does it mean, bromulated? >> guest: i don't actually know. there are some 5,000 different additives in foods. and can i've looked at a few of them but by no means have had time yet to look at all of them. it's an incredible array. and one of the stunning things about it, too, is that the fda which is there to regulate foods is not even aware of many of the these additives. so it's a serious issue of concern to people.
>> host: michael moss, k.t. reader sends in a tweet, there has been a rise in natural or healthy processed foods. how do their salt, sugar, fat levels compare? >> guest: well, organics is an issue that's really interesting. because an organic product does not necessarily mean it's lower or healthier in salt, sugar or fat and/or caloryings. organic, you know, refers to -- and, hopefully, it's lower than pesticides pause that's the aim of the -- because that's the aim of the organic level and the whole growing of organics. one interesting thing i find besides looking at the fine print on containers, boxes and bottles, i really like to start with the front of the package because that's where the touting is. that's where you'll see the words "all natural" or "added calcium" or with this vitamin or that vitamin or low fat. and i often see that as a signal to immediately look for, you
know, turn the package around and look at the fine print because, you know, that's where, you know, that's where the information is that they're not touting to you as an allure to buy the product. >> host: next call for michael moss comes from george in wilmington, delaware. george, you're on booktv. please go ahead. >> caller: hi. i can see where salt, sugar and fat and, of course, processed flour are bad for you. and recommending more fruits and vegetables as an alternative. i'm just wondering, you know, with pesticides and herbicides, are we going from one pad thing to another bad -- one bad thing to another bad thing? >> guest: you know, that's a really good point. to be concerned about and, again, the fda is there to regulate the amount of pesticides and herbicides. the -- i empathize with people, you know, who don't have the financial wherewithal to buy organics. i don't think you need to buy
organics to be healthy generally. and i think at this point, you know, we are -- have to be somewhat dependent on the fda to set tolerance limits for pesticides, herbicides so that if people move more to fruits and vegetables, they don't get too much. and that's a real issue to look at. >> host: mary mcgregor who's watching us, obesity -- this is a tweet -- obesity on full display behind you. address why americans are not interested in even discussing this issue, especially parents. >> guest: i actually think that america is becoming more concerned about what we put in our bodies and more concerned about obesity and diabetes and are talking more about it. it's really difficult for people to break their own sort of eating habits. and to deal with that. but i actually find that the conversation is increasing, and hats off to michelle obama for
raising the national conversation about obesity and health and nutrition. on the one side. on the other hand, too, these products are so compelling. i like to call them the foods we hate to love because, you know, it's hard to talk about something that you love to eat in negative, in negative tones. >> host: michael moss, what was the reception from the food companies when you approached them about "salt sugar fat"? >> guest: i think that they were actually -- i mean, i was surprised by how willing they were to talk to me. and i started off with a trove of internal documents which helped tremendously. these thousands and thousands of pages put me at the table as the largest companies were plotting and planning and formulating their way to creating new products. those documents enabled me to convince their top scientists, marketing officials, ceos in some cases to talk to me and reveal even more secrets. and so -- and i was really
surprised by how many companies have a cabal of insiders who are genuinely concerned about obesity and health issues associated with their products. um, you know, that said, the industries themselves when, you know, when their employees are inside the game and a former president of coca-cola expressed that to me the best, when you're inside, you are living, you know, competition with your competitors. and it's really hard to see the big picture until you step out. and in going around the country and talk about this book now, i've been approached by former industry officials who have come come up to me and said that exactly. michael, look, when i worked for the company, i just couldn't see what you're talking about, but now i can. >> host: "salt sugar fat" is the name of the book, michael moss is the author, and benny is the caller from phoenix. >> caller: hey, guys, how's it going this afternoon? hey, y'all, listen, michael, i
use the artificial sweetener to cut down drastically on my sugar intake, and i don't have a weight problem, but i would be interested to know what you have to say about how artificial sweeteners may impact the consumption of foods that are otherwise maybe loaded with salt and fat. you know, it's where they might psychologically or sid logically -- physiologically tend to make people eat more of those foods. >> host: thank you, benny. >> guest: i've heard that same question raised by nutrition sign difficults, benny, and unfortunately -- sign difficults and, the studies just haven't opinion done on that -- been done on that. and there's some thinking that diet sodas can act almost, you know, people might view it wrongly as like a prophylactic that will, you know, inoculate them against calories, so you have a diet soda one moment and
then go back to eating, you know, a sugary candy or cookies or an 800-calorie muffin the next moment. so i think that's one thing to realize about diet soda is that changing one element of your diet without looking at everything else isn't going to be the silver bullet that some people might think it is. but, yes, i know that there are food scientists who are itching to do studies looking at that question. will drinking a diet soda, an artificially-sweetened drink then compel you to look for sweetness in solid foods that might be sweetened with real sugar, and so you're going to get more calories that way? >> host: just a few minutes left with our guest. jeff is in summit, new jersey. jeff, you're on booktv. >> caller: yes, hello. yeah, i would just like to comment that, um, what you really are doing there is to talk about the symptom rather
than the cause. the principal cause of this obesity epidemic that we're facing is because of the collapse that we've seen in tap water consumption from about 75-80 gallons in 1960 to just 14 or 15 gallons today. and the reason for that is because of a 100% shift from a refillable system for beverages and billing -- milk to a 100% nonrefillable system for beverages and milk. that is what has collapsed tap water consumption and dramatically increased soda consumption and other packaged liquids. if we went back to a refillable system for beverages and milk, you would not see anywhere near the consumption of soda, soda particularly soda. bottled water would be
nonexistent. all bottled water does -- >> host: thank you, sir. >> caller: all right. >> guest: that's a really interesting perspective. i actually had not heard that before. in terms of looking at all of the causes of obesity, the obesity crisis started in 1980, one of the more fascinating ideas that was presented to me by a weight loss expert was that starting in the early '80s almost overnight it became acceptable to eat anything anywhere anytime, and that's kind of when you started to see people eating and drinking walking down the street or bringing food into even business meetings. and i think that what that led to was sort of a mindless eating where you're going hand to mouth, and you're cutting the brain's sort of natural breaks on overeating out of the equation. and i think much of what i'm hoping this book does is help move people back toward a mindful eating as opposed to mindlessly because that plays right into the knack food industry, and i suspect it also
played into soda consumption as well. >> host: last call comes from will in lincoln, delaware. >> caller: thank you, peter. historically question, michael, and that is when you think about folks that influenced you in your investigatory writing, the adele daviss of the 1960s, the jethro clauses, the william duffy, what were their influences on your interests? >> guest: you know, it's funny, the biggest influence on me as a reporter was a high school teacher of mine. i took her journalism class, and she said something to me which was just about -- i was in a pretty tough high school, and she said, look, michael, i think you have a knack for this. frankly, it was one of the kindest things any of my teachers said to me. [laughter] and so i started into journalism first, and i eventually, you know, did investigative journalism. you know, mostly as an opportunity to really dig below the surface of things. and there's so many other great
investigative reporters out there. upton sinclair was a great inspiration because he went after the meat industry at the turn of the century and helped create the safety inspection system that we now have in this country. and, yes, you named a number of other people. i'm in awe of the ability of journalists and writers and people that really care about issues to really dig into things. i admire them all. >> host: one more tweet, another one from k.t. reader, but it's something you discuss in your book, michael moss. how many of the food industry execs that you met actually consume their own products? >> guest: ah. i was surprised to meet so many people, top scientists, marketers, ceos who don't indulge in their products. i spent time with a former top technical officer of kraft, especially i should say when they run into health troubles.
he used to jog to control his weight, and when he blew out his knee, the first thing he did was stop eating potato chips because he couldn't stop at just one tiny little serving. and for him the grocery store became a bit of a minefield in avoiding those products that he knew he might not be able to control. >> host: you, you note in here that since 1970 we have tripled our cheese intake and our sugar intake on the average is 22 teaspoons a person per day. >> guest: yeah. and another -- it's like up to -- with cheese we're up to 33 pounds of cheese per year. >> host: how did that happen? >> guest: on average. again, part of why research in writing this book to me was like a detective story. back in the '60s we began drinking less whole milk out of concern for saturated fat calories. that left the dairy industry with a glut of whole milk and milk fat that they extracted out to make low-fat milk.
they started making ice cream, butter, they made so much cheese it ban piling up -- began piling up. the government began buying tons of it until ronald reagan said, hey, enough of this, this is dumb. the cheese is growing moldy. but then what congress did was created a system for the dairy industry to raise tens of millions of dollars every year to promote the consumption of cheese, and that's what's been going on ever since. they're spending this marketing power every year to get us to eat more cheese. and not just cheese that's, you know, on a sandwich or cheese you eat as an hors d'oeuvre before a meal, this is cheese that's sold and used as an additive to processed foods as an allure for the mouth feel to get you to like the food more. >> host: "salt sugar fat: how the food giants hooked us," michael moss is the author. thank you for being on booktv. >> guest: oh, thanks so much for having me. my pleasure. >> host: and this is booktv's live coverage from the l.a. times festival of books on the campus of the university of southern california.
we've got several more hours of coverage. just want to let you know, we've got two more call-in opportunities to interact with authors. kathleen sharp, whose book is "blood medicine: blowing the whistle on one of the deadliest prescription drugs ever," and mark rosetti, "the way of the knife," he's also with "the new york times," talking about the cia, pakistan and war. but up next, another author panel. this is live from usc. and this is a panel on state histories. three authors, julia siler, greg golden and t.d. allman writing about different states, talking about that. thanks for being with us, this is live coverage. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> hello? hello? anybody there? hello? is there a volume? hello, hello. hi, i think we're at the witching hour now, i've got the high sign from the back of the room. you are at the los angeles times festival of books, the nonfiction landscapes view, an imagined panel. ..
bill whole idea of landscapes real and imagined. my first was about the massacre on southern colorado. there is a sentinelle coming at last become next year and played a role in the way the war was waged and my most recent book, shameless promotion, had a biography about is on the map and how that city evolves and collapsed. fortunately for you that is the last you will hear about me during this panel. the plan is we are going to talk about the books come introduce the authors and have questions. i am a firm believer we could set up here the next 45 minutes and tell you a bunch of stuff you are not that interested in
or we can spend a little bit of time getting questions from the floor so we get more of a dialogue. i encourage you this is live on c-span pps ask a question, don't make a speech. let's stick to the questions if we could. so our authors today are from year to four come julia flynn siler come t.d. allman and greg goldin. i think we met julia for the first time at a panel one journalism which was a while ago. she is a veteran journalist. her first book some of you may have read about the winemaking family and their role of making napa valley but it is today. her new book is "lost kingdom l.i.e.'s last clean, the sugar kings and america's first imperial venture." i won't say anything more about that. and she lives in the bay area. next to her is t.d. allman a native to the canadian of miami.
>> i was born in florida and i accept that. [laughter] >> a veteran journalist and book writer his new book is "finding florida: the history of the sunshine state." it was a decade in the making and it seems like a prequel to one of your earlier books, miami city of the future. he's written two other books and if i counted right you are the kuhl lab kuhl author of another dozen books? >> yes, i lose count. >> and i thought that i was busy. >> at the end we have greg goldin, co-author of "never built los angeles." i think this is the only copy into existence on the other side. there will be copies for sale next door? >> they are on a boat from hong kong. >> i read the book and it really is fascinating and a detailed graphics we'll talk more about
the growing visiones for los angeles have never been off the drawing board. it's kind of a fascinating concept to me. >> greg is a critic for los angeles magazine and has written about nearly a full duty to every new building to go up in the past 15 years of differentiation. he exhibits the architecture and design museum here in los angeles and there is a show coming up that is built on this book? >> there is a show called when shall perspective on beverly boulevard. >> i will start with t.d. allman. this goes back to the modern beginnings, the subtle version of florida. there's no way we can encapsulate everything in detailed risky history but i wonder if you can talk about the aspect of florida as a land form and to be honest i have no idea
what we imagined is supposed to mean here. i'm curious, florida is a land form as you pointed out. it is no bed rock to speak of. it seems like a formation and i am curious the physicality of the place that shaped the way that it's evolved into modern florida. >> i will give you one thing for starters is that the spanish arrived in florida and looked around at the gold mines and the passage to china and florida is the only state with no middle, no gold or odierno or anything like that. we are living -- florida has basically three great areas of delusion. it's a state that actually did get built. when we were talking that the panel i was thinking about how florida truly interact with everything but let me talk about the shy geography. i was thinking recently held
california and florida are superficially somewhat similar and they begin the same with doing terrible things for the indians and then we do terrible things to the spanish. by the way, i gather we are nationwide. i will pay $10,000 immediately to any one who can prove that the united states purchased florida. that is one of the many lies propagated as history everything you know about florida that you think it's false. the thing i would like to get out onto is hawaii. people think florida is found and it doesn't matter. it does. that's where we started the whole system of subversion that led to the kingdom of hawaii and the destruction of its independence. i went back to jefferson and madison. i see the judge is not in the audience today. florida disproves all of that
about original was on and if somebody wants to ask me about that i will explain it. the geography, it has very little soil where they thought it would be just dandy to have slavery. of course they wanted it all the way over here in california. they didn't make a lot of money but of course than we did have the cost of the civil war which should be taken into account. so underneath all of this is just what keeps this level for human beings is the downward pressure of fresh water through the offers. in 1940 florida had less than a million people. all of the environmental decisions have been made. now we have to live with them so that's where we are.
>> muskett to julie now. where speed -- t.d. is to hawaii's evolution can you tell the story of your book which is a pretty fascinating story? and i suspect the way your story evolves and both of a continuous and the end of the family had a lot to do with isolation. >> i think the first thing we have to think about when you think about why he is it is the most isolated place on the plan at. any direction to thousand 25 miles is ocean, and it's critical to understanding what then happened. "lost kingdom" focuses on the kingdom of hawaii. i came up as a business reporter from a journalist very fascinated by the econoc transformation of hawaii and the
role of the sugar industry and what happened. and so my challenge was to figure out how do you tell a perhaps fairly economic story in a way that would be very compelling? the way i did it was to focus on an almost mind-boggling number of characters, missionaries, sugar barons and one of the key areas i focused on was the sugar king of hawaii. >> can you say that name again because i love to hear it? >> i tracked down clause speckles. it is a history of 19th century hawaii that looks at the
transformational landscape, the economic transformation but told through characters and told monopolist ackley . >> it's a very good book. >> now we will move on to greg. as i said before come in your book is fascinating especially for those of us that spent a lot of years the eight years in los angeles area. if you give us a brief overview, first of all, what you and your co-author set out to accomplish in the book and then i'm not to talk about another question. >> i missed the question. >> it was in their somewhere. [laughter] >> what did you set out to accomplish the look? >> at first we thought we were going to look at a very small slice of los angeles history. we began by thinking about los angeles precession to recession. we would go from somewhere in the 1990's to kind of the beginning of the 20 something or
others and we really didn't know what we were looking for. what happened was each time we looked at a project we realized their must be in antecedents to this. and it led us back a decade by decade all the weight the 1900's and suddenly we had a stack of why don't know, 200 or more projects that we were looking at and we realized there is something kind of definitive about these. there has been an effort repeatedly to look at and solve the problem of transportation in los angeles. if the common complaint you get together at a dinner party and what is the first conversation? you're going to talk about traffic. they were talking about traffic before world war i and they talked about it again in the 1920's. each one of these is as thick as the phone book and they did it again. after world war ii they did it and they did it again in the 50's and 60's, and we still do
it today. so i think that what we learned and what we hope someone might take away from this book is that los angeles keeps confronting the same problem, it keeps tackling them with essentially the same solutions and look where we've gotten. >> i think one of the things i learned in florida is that people have an absolute disinclination to put it mildly to learn from their mistakes. towards the end of the book, i write the one sentence which will be true in any age in any time in florida and a lot of other places as well. one thing we can be sure of is that it will not turn out the way we expect them to be. we are sort of living at that now. one thing that touched me very much about your talking hawaii
-- let me back up a minute. what do you mean he didn't discover the fountain of youth? what do you mean slavery wasn't a chivalrous nice thing and i have to spend time kicking back saying be quiet and listen to what happened. but what happened in writing the book is that i rediscovered these marvelous figures come and might take the key event in modern history of florida, that is the takeover by the americans is a thing called the negro fort massacre and basically jackson ordered his troops to violate the place and kill all these people which is what they did. but the interesting thing was the two leaders, one was a negro that they considered a runaway slave, bad ones run away and good ones toil and the other. so i call them the first responders. you look what happened in boston the other day and i was in a
fire on time since i have the experience wherever i go and you see the fire men show up, they are asian and black and samoa and with the history of florida has been and certainly hawaii you have to be a white southern gentleman, none of them were, very few were. and i've been able to uncover so many valiant lives to i want to mention one thing that we heard. the seminoles were not a tried. they were a community of detribalized indians, mixed-race people and black people, and was born billy powell and his mother was white and his father was white and predominantly mixed-race and today he regarded more or less as white but because they were not quite enough for andy jackson they were driven down to florida he was radicalized, she was
betrayed and to cap and captured four a fake trees with -- this is st. augustine. doctor dr. frederick then cut off his head with his scalpel and took it back to florida as a souvenir for his boy is and frankly i won't let this stuff pass. these are things need to understand and there are many beautiful things there. a leader if we talk about one of the most amazing of america's early what social philosophers who in told never mention sex on npr this is c-span, so i guess i can do. he basically said in 1829 the solution to the problem is interracial relations. he said go to the right parts of
l.a. and find mixed-race people they are stronger, more beautiful, more intelligent, and then in my book i say go to south beach and miami beach if you doubt it was wrong, but it took 150 years for his view and the first responder and his comrade for their vision of america to come through, and frankly that is a vision that i prefer to the white hero that goes in. >> going back now to landscape, i'm curious, those of you that spent a lot of time in the los angeles area, this is pretty boring geography. it is flat, and i'm curious how has the physicality of the landscape affected the decisions over the years of what to build and where? how will it build the mall? >> for most urban planners it has made it almost impossible
because the city is an accumulation of roughly almost 100 municipalities, and they are spread across the landscape from it depends upon your definition, may be all the way to san diego now, but certainly from malibu to long beach to palace, to pasadena and you can just start rattling off all of these locations and each one of them represents its own base of political power and in some cases economic power and the struggle for los angeles has been from almost the outset to redefine that as the center is downtown los angeles. so all the efforts have been this is the place and those of us that radiate out from that, but it's never worked and they keep trying to impose that picture or that overlay on to a
map that won't feed to that idea. >> talking about perceptions, do we look at ye as a paradise and as you display admirably in this book does it have a background history to it? and if you go there today, it is kind of obscured by the beauty that is a question for you, t.d.. how has the sale and the image of the places you wrote about affect the perceptions of them and locally the perceptions of themselves and what they should be and what they can be. >> that is a great question, thank you. >> that's right, just butter up the moderator. [laughter] >> paradise and what is paradise for? that is the core of my history. and i think many visitors to the island coming and perhaps
first-time visitors especially realize there is an undercurrent of racial tension, and many people also observed that history seems to be right on the surface of things and there is a lot of racial tension and ongoing debate about the history of hawaii and how it became a part of the united states. that's really what "lost kingdom" explains. as part of that history there is the transformational landscape and that is one of the things the was so fascinating to me to tell the story of how a series of isolated volcanic islands in the middle of the north pacific were transformed and remarkably in a short period of time really exactly the last queen of hawaii's lifetime. she was born in 1838, died in 1917, and that corresponds precisely with the dramatic growth of the sugar industry.
so what that meant is those volcanic islands, which had the fields and patches, fish ponds and forests over the course of one person's lifetime were changed and disappeared and turned into sugar fields. one of the stories that is so poignant to meet the it's in my book and talks about a finch called the mama i don't know if any of you have heard of that bird, but they would said tiny snare's to catch these birds, they were black birds coming and they had tiny yellow feathers and the native hawaiians would pluck the feathers and yet the birds go free and they would make the amazing cloaks that are behind glass in the places like the museum to take 80,000 of
these factors to make one of these cloaks. by the time the last queen of hawaii was overthrown, that bird was almost completely gone and the reason is because the environment had so radically changed in a very short period of time. that's one of the things i detail. >> when we look at hawaii now we don't see that. we see the plantations and that sort of thing. so, t.d.? >> what i found out when i was researching this book is the paradise like other things is an intellectual and social construct and just as there is a paper trail in the spanish illusion that gold was to be found in florida, by the way i just want to clarify one thing it begins with the first massacre of white men in the western hemisphere certainly and north america and this is how
our history began with a spanish learned there was nothing to be found. it was only tradition in florida, that was before they found out that they had established a settlement in jacksonville so they tore across the atlantic and massacred several hundred frenchmen and that is the beginning of the history. as i say in the beginning if we look at -- for this old guy looking for viagra and largely america thinks here comes a hurricane this is no understanding, but if you look at the real history of florida which is the real history of the united states commits a violent history of conquest and exploitation and disregard. it's also a case of americans deciding that it is the duty of the land to respond to what they expected to be. and i'm not sure i've ever put it that way but that's exactly what it is. what happened after world war ii was that suddenly the first was
the illusion of gold which was a disease of microbes thanks to the wonderful recent decades we know that now and the second was the belief that the industrial revolution slavery, which is what it was, the mass-produced in, the cotton fields in england was a neat way to get rich. of course if you didn't count as the oil companies don't count the subsequent cost of the civil war we then answer what i call them misfit winter is this terrible thing. and suddenly if you go back to the seminal war you will find one of the soldiers by the way more american soldiers died in florida from fighting the seminoles then died in all of the campaigns west of the mississippi. go check that. anyway, a typical comment is he would rather spend six months in
hell than one month in florida. after the civil war, you have the lovely swamp land with the alligators and stuff like that and all of this fluff begins and you have this enormous attempt to transfer swamp into real estate and to me that is the key and frankly that's why the historiography of florida, which i won't waste my time on today, so terribly shameful because most of them are the general histories until now for the real-estate developers and among them was harriet beecher stowe but perhaps we don't have enough time to go into that metamorphosis. so anyway i forget what i'm -- paradise. >> i just want to add the same story in some ways is told about los angeles and the joke is it is still paradise. today you go outside -- it's
snowing in cleveland with its blue skies and 80 some degree is right now so i don't know how many people are migrating or emigrating to los angeles at this very moment and each of them is going to be sold a similar -- >> i have to interrupt because what makes for the wonderful is that it is all fake. you arrived in l.a. and look at the trees and if you are in the middle of the drought and in the traffic coming you can see why all these people from nebraska came here. >> florida has absolutely nothing. >> unlike florida -- >> this is the big difference between hawaii and california. on the one hand in florida and on the other with the funny name he went out there and made money. they found real gold a year. florida is about the visitation of capital, it's about the destruction of wealth. and that's why it's the bellwether state today. we don't collect enough taxes.
we don't pay our bills to be we say anybody can have a gun and kill anybody. actually i want to say this on tv -- >> let me just step in for a minute it's about land and development in the case of hawaii and i think also florida it's about strategic reasons, right? in hawaii, certainly it is our board work against north korea. it has become -- >> that is true and of course a was a very wise of them to take it in 1988 so shortly thereafter they could get mired down in the philippines. >> the other thing i really want to mengin on this paradise thing, you have people riding like harriet beecher stowe came down and remember she's the great abolitionist and she says who will do the work for us? and she has the same answers
colin and he just loves carrying the wheel barrows and you go read some of her stuff and then one doctor came down and he actually said it got cold and people had malaria and she was just outrageous and she said malaria of the milder sort. [laughter] this goes on and on. there are so many people -- >> another parallel between southern california and hawaii is religious influence. certainly hawaii was the missionaries who arrived and they were bringing the word of god and the old saying is they came to do good and they did very well indeed and they ended up with much of the land. southern california i think is the same thing. >> also it is based on kind of a different mass making come slightly different because -- >> you can discover gold here or
in los angeles it was really oral the big boom for southern california and began with those who endowed the library of this campus and then they came along and would sell you every single false stock you could possibly imagine, the biggest swindle in the history of the united states occurred in l.a. and that is really how the city works. you inflate something that's true into a big mess. we do it with movie stars and other forms of instant overnight welford and everybody can somehow brought their pieces. >> if i may interject i would like to say you start with nothing so what makes -- speaking of architecture, they
have no imaginary architecture. they built what ever they want so you see all this spanish style architecture and think if it doesn't go back to the spaniards at least it was built. coral gables had all this stuff before the cubans arrived and sell so they do all those wonderful things. >> the difference between florida and southern california. >> that is one of the many distinctions. let's not let it. again, i don't mean to become a you know, 1i tell a dark story. if i will tell you right now this i think some people find hard to accept. my book is not - it reflect the tragic history and this is something in refuses to accept. life is tragic, terrible things
are done. we need to understand this about life. i say to people if you didn't want this to be the history, we should be made in different ways. my heart goes help to the people who are only in this book -- at the end of the book i told them at last -- let me give you one example of the intellectual strain in florida. there is a wonderful man who was in the army in the 1840's. he fought the seminoles and then he went west and fought the indians and then for the union. there are so many brave will americans and they get treated as scallywags. these were honorable people. anyway, let me tell you about john or i will go off in all sorts of directions. so he then came back and wrote the classic history.
he comes back and he is the commanding officer in florida during that period of the congressional reconstruction and he sort of guide them through rate. the chapter in my book is called in power in-between. these were all these different people and he is not in any florida history book. he's not noticed as a figure. his book is never quoted. if you don't fit into the cliche of the conquistador and of the gentleman slaveholder and the visionary you don't belong and i am saying history is too good. >> where does john fit into this picture? >> the only good trees are dead. >> i want to since we have a wide audience here we don't want to turn florida into a joke. it's not the pipe bombs, it's not these cases that come along, it's the fact that florida holds
up a mirror to our country today. let me give you just one example. >> we have other people that need to talk. >> i have a little follow-up with you on this notion of historiography, and i think that one of the revelations in my book and one of the reasons it has been a surprise in hawaii is that it has a level of detail that paints almost all of the characters, the sugar barons and the visitors who came to hawaii and that has not been the case of until now. there was a period through the 70's and 80's and 90's in which the story was a very simplistic black-and-white story and i think this was a surprise because it paints particularly the family as having been very closely tied to the overthrow in
the sugar industry. >> we are going to move to questions in a couple minutes. ask one more question of greg and then questions from the floor. this is changing topics somewhat drastically. you are given the beginning of your book is a mecca for architects and you say it lacks the grand gesture of the urbanization. what do you think this will happen and it might tie in to the theme that we are talking about here. >> i think why it happened i think i know why architects were and continue to be attracted here because it's kind of an open field. you can come here and i suppose i don't know where to start with green and green or irving gill between world war i you could build whenever you wanted and take whatever inspiration's he wanted either from the landscape or something you brought back from massachusetts in the case of grain and grain. >> that you establish a lot of these came to fruition.
>> you could build a house but then when it came to building what we considered to be public architecture for a monumental architecture, everything about the structure of politics and power and money in los angeles mitigates against it. you can't do it because there isn't a major that is strong enough to enforce any decision on the city which leaves everything to developers. we know what choices they make. they are based on money and money and that's when you get so you have great architects who can't do their best work in the city. >> is that the los angeles motto on the flag? we have a gentleman done here with a question if you can bring the microphone down front. keep coming. if you have a question raise your hand so the people with the microphones can see you. maybe grab the one over here.
>> i think what all three of the regions have in common is that all three of them very much for romanticize areas that the nation has projected various desires and i think you mentioned it to be what they expected to be and each generation of course is different expectations if you go back to the period in california and the spanish era when they first arrived promoting southern california as a garden land of orange groves. >> we have like eight other hands to go. i think that one of the things they also have in common is it is highly unstable. the hurricanes in florida and the earthquakes of course in california.
do you feel the physical geography aspects of your selected regions plan on that flexibility that allows them to be projected in the capability? >> if i could i would like to have greg start. >> i have a simple answer. we have flattop skyscrapers in los angeles which has everything to do with -- you are supposed to be able to land a helicopter on top and you can think about all the things you want to run for that. but it's basically disaster is built into our buildings and as a consequence we don't get interesting looking skyscrapers. >> one of the most striking characters in the 19th century hawaiian history is a man named thurston and he was the key of the overthrow in 93. one of his claims to fame is that he brought a model volcano to the 1893 world fair in
chicago and he was an early promoter of the edginess. he ran the volcano house which is about to reopen so i would just reflect that aspect of instability was very much used to market the island. >> i would say in florida's caisse geography is absolutely determinant unlike in your places where there is some contingency. as i started to say earlier let me just leave it at that and say when you have no resources of any kind you have to have a society that is entirely built on illusion as opposed to partially built. i do want to say one thing that in the end, i am moderately optimistic because i believe immigration is going to save us.
it's what saved us from racism to the extent we have been saved which is quite considerable and so my confidence in all of these three societies is in spite of all of their follies and their limitations people still have a tremendous desire. i think california does have the resources and the other thing they failed to nurture our their resources and i doubt down to california for its historical respect. the problem is it's never paid for any of this stuff. they can't afford to pay for it anymore. >> we have another question of here and then we will give the microphone to this young lady. >> you talk about the failure of the transportation system. do you discuss in your book any
ideas for things that were not built that might have worked better? >> we will give you one example. in 1925 the city commissioned a successor from one of the biggest transportation companies in the world to look at the transportation problem and the solution they proposed was something on the order of 125 miles of subways and elevated transit for southern california. when you look at the map looks like the map of today's freeway. that was 1925 it could have been built with a steam shovel, no obstacles in the way except for the l.a. times. islamic that was a subway building era. >> this is when it could have easily been done.
the "l.a. times" editorialized committee went on a rampage and said we can't have clattering in our downtown as they do in chicago and that's how they managed to defeat it, they went to the citizens of los angeles and voted down. islamic that is a fascinating history. those figures also. we have a question over here. >> i'm wondering where did you start your research to find out about your historical landscape. >> why don't we start with greg and then work this way. >> talking to architect and historians just asking them with the new and who they heard of that's where it began and surprising but they did know. >> i remember i said thank god i won't have to write much about england, and those are the two key elements that explained everything. i went on, and at every stage i
found the conventional narrative was fiction, and was even more touching or moving and infuriating is that it was all out there. it was in the libraries and now thinks to the internet, we can get books published in 1840. i will give you one example, one of the things they try to force on you is we must not apply our model standards to their period. that's ridiculous. remember, we have the civil war because people disagreed about all these things. you go back and i mention this very briefly, modern historians had cleared the river for navigation is one of them said. you go back and was a big deal, people were very unhappy and one of the reasons is that florida was -- it was the first time the
federal government power had been used to expand slavery. remember the civil war wasn't by slavery, it was about the expansion of slavery and they wanted to come all the way out here. he started out in florida. where the massacre occurred was later called fort kim stem. seabeck mine started in a dusty barnett outside of san francisco not a bar, a form. we were visiting some family friends and they were getting a tour of their ranch and a foot on the switch and inside of this place are the feathered staff and all kinds of things it planted the seed in my mind of the links between california and hawaii which are very strong and that led me to reading a book about clause speckles, there was a biography written about him in the 60's and that set me off to
the hawaii state archives where i got to know the state archivist and was very lucky to meet him and david for this who just finished a project to collect all of the letters and the diaries of the family and transcribe them and he very kindly shared them with me but most of my research was that the hawaii state archives. >> it is just a great thrill to look at the fact and say how can that be and then 100,000 words later you get the answer. we have a question over here or down here. okay. by the way this is frances come also in author, a great biography and financing of california. >> you said something about how your book was the first to have the royal family and previous to
this they were always the good guys and i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how the notions of royalty plan to that and since hawaii is such a paradise physically, how sort of those two things are interconnected that we see these people as quote with special criticism because they can from this incredible paradise. >> it's an interesting question and i'd have to start with the native hawaiian perspective which remains today to show enormous reverence towards the highest chief and the queen who was a constitutional monarchs modeled after britain's's mark he was revered by his people and not criticized and to some extent that remains today that
stance towards the royal family but the reality is that the last queen of hawaii was a shareholder in some of the sugar plantation she had financial dealings with those people and her brother in particular was very much indebted to the california sugarcane and it was a very, very complex story that led to the overthrow of the marquee. i think the cultural attitudes in hawaii are being very reverend to today. >> so the government corporate collusion isn't new. >> exactly. >> we have a question on this side over here and one in the middle than a gentleman in the back. we have questions everywhere. this is good. >> can you give us more examples from your book? >> me or him. >> examples of what? i can tell you that monorails if
you're talking about dreams come its amazing how many people get engaged by the idea of this kind of bullet shaped thing hanging off of a single track. i don't know why that is. i can't explain it. mabey trains hold a special place in our heart, and among my favorite proposals is one that to the proponents said they could build a mile a day of monorails across los angeles. that is how quickly they could put them up and that was in 1960. >> almost suggests how quickly they can come down, too. >> we have a question over here. >> i was curious what kind of corporations today of the oil companies are still lobbying against mass transit or if there are others that are actively involved in lobbying against
mass transit in l.a., and whether your book gets any flak from people associated in those interest. >> the only copy of the book i'm aware of is the one that is sitting right here. not yet come in and i don't know because there is a great deal of collaboration between these major corporations today and things like the air quality management district and the transportation authority because if they all acknowledge that we can't sit in our cars indefinitely how they are going to monetize that to their own advantage, i don't know. it's not something i followed. it's what could have been. it had to stop somewhere. >> question in the back. >> i apologize to the panelists that are not gregg. it's not your books of some interesting it's just that we are in los angeles.
but promising unbuilt projects in or out of your book still have a prayer? >> still have what? >> still have a prayer of happening. >> what still has a prayer of happening? i can't answer that truthfully. by the way this is a question that comes from david that runs a great bookstore on the east side of los angeles. he's wearing his piece should delete a t-shirt. >> i don't know. i don't know because the ideas unfortunately -- we try to be careful to things that really were dead and as a result we've made enemies of a lot of architects and planners and thinkers about the city because nobody ever wants to hear that what you just poured your heart and soul into it is dead on
arrival. >> he's working on a book and he wants to talk to us. >> people with the drew project that they had given us because they had a fantasy that it is still going to happen. >> we have a question down here and the gentleman in the red shirt. >> down here in the middle. >> you describe for the florida as a kind of mirror of america if you have any ideas about what might explain that aspect of the american psyche. >> it's funny before asking that
question i was thinking of my friend who lives in thailand, and he is not the as a fruitcake. i said what are you up to now? he said a great deal about the political system that every ten years a prime minister lets him do whatever he wants. he said well i am now building a train system for the entire kingdom. i said which branch are you going to build? we are going to do them all at the same time. when will you be finished? >> he said eight or nine years. we are not going through a recession. we are going through a fundamental realignment of how the world works. when you look at a congress that can't pass automobile driver's license requirements and i thought when that high-speed
train system is finished and you invite me over for the inaugural run, florida is still going to be debating whether they should do a high-speed train from miami to orlando and tampa. i think to kinds of decline are going on right now. one is relative decline at the end of world war ii we had more than half of the world's gdp. you don't want that. but i have to say -- let's just start with the filibuster. when did that become a part of our constitution? and let that particular party do that why have the other parties let that get through? we passed a law in congress a couple of days ago by 54 votes. when i was growing up -- when you have 54 votes and it took a majority of 58 past. i didn't study of arithmetics but that is sort of what i thought. so why do think that to a
certain extent, america is in a strange position. the one thing i tell my european friends, it will break your heart but then it will astonish you. which of us in this room ten years ago would have predicted not only would have a black president but a black president would be elected? who would have predicted for florida for all its faults would vote for that president twice? the reason is for that is becoming a space state for the same reason california became a space state and you'll know what that is. i think texas and arizona and georgia will soon follow but with that said we have to get in gear. >> the gentleman in the red shirt. >> the dreams of transportation freeway system and putting the infamous 710 that dream has been
halted by people protesting the uprooting of neighborhoods. but it's still there and a dream by many people get in your book haou reviewed the politics and the discussions of this fight on the completion of the 710 freeway? >> yes and no. we talk about the 710 and we've looked at all of the proposals for los angeles which had their origins in the aaa in the 1920's and it's true when you say. the map of los angeles was going to be a grid where you would never have to be more than 4 miles away from a freeway entrance anywhere in the metropolitan area and every canyon across in griffith park would have had a freeway cutting north and south and every major east-west street in the basin were would have had a freeway and if that wasn't good enough
the what kurt fernald and connect them all together. they haven't completely given up on that idea i don't think. a lot of these are still a part of the map and until the legislature withdraws the route it is still on the locks. >> we have about five more minutes. >> just a follow-up, the perspective of the opening scene and i think the first words were this is paradise. >> as i look out over this audience i guess no one is going to ask the justice scalia question. [laughter] >> any other questions from the audience? >> i have 1i want to ask what. what did disney due to florida? >> he did with the help of the
cia. if you go back to the times many of us were being dragged to these places by our parents -- >> let me interject my wife is here, parents of two kids and when they were young when my wife and a blaze i stayed home and everybody had a better time. [laughter] what >> it sort of seem anomalous to me when i started researching the disney cia alliance but when you think about it what organizations of the 21st century in the cia and disney both had their objective to conquer the world and of course disney has more or less succeeded and so disney, you know come here in southern california disney was subject to some sort of control and influence and specifically didn't have enough land, and florida is where they all go
because i compare floor dhaka what the plato state and then you watch it rolled back into the swampland. so he wanted to get all of this for free so he called up bill donovan, the famous founder were during world war ii and said we will help you on that so he had a lawyer in miami whose job was doing dirty tricks against castro but they helped keep people out and i was daring to suggest the arrival of disney wasn't an unalterable benefit to the colonizers. so what happened to the colonized basically they got together and they did all sorts of various tricks. the the thing i want to bring up here is we all know the fundamental thing of the u.s. constitution and the florida constitution is one man, one vote. there are two cities
incorporated by the state of florida which make up a large part of disney world and they're exists a property qualification to vote. and these two cities in florida when of which has a population of 21 and the other 16 but they have hundreds of thousands of people that live and work you must own property to vote. why doesn't the orlando sentinel or "the washington post" or "the new york times" or "the wall street journal" or the florida state police get to work on this and figure out how it is we had to cities in the united states that violate the constitution? this is the level when you old people's minds this way and this is getting back to paradise and stuff like that where we are. does that answer your question on disney? >> yes. >> i will tell you the justice scalia story. >> the original was and is made
up like neoconservatives with about 20-years-old and justice scalia was giving a lecture and he said anybody who thinks the constitution is a living breathing document is an idiot. by his standards jefferson, madison and monroe were idiots because jefferson were sent monroe to paris. they loved florida. they came back with louisiana and he said i don't have the authority to do this. the government doesn't have the authority to amex character in this way to a constitutional amendment would be necessary. well, madison and monroe started working on him and after a couple weeks jefferson decided he really did have the power and he later said he bent the constitution until it cracked so i presume, and i think the mexicans would be delighted to hear this that according to justice scalia we are probably standing on mexican territory today since the constitution as originally written gave the
united states no authority according to thomas jefferson were to amex this land to be a cynic and there you have it in another shell. >> are we there or do we have something left? okay with. i just want to sort of repeat what we have here. we have three great books and three great authors. julia flynn siler's "lost kingdom,," t.d. allman with "finding florida the true history of the sunshine state" and we heard those stories and greg goldin with the only copy known to man so far, "never built los angeles." and that book you were telling me before is on its way so you should be able to -- >> it may be near hawaii. for those of you that are not here in the audience, these books are all available in the usual outlets. you can special order that they are not there and maybe special
order greg and they will be available in the usual, online outlets. they will be signing books in the area. you can listen to a little rock and roll while you are getting your book signed. thank you for coming. appreciate your time. [applause] [inaudible conversations] book tv live coverage from the l.a. times festival of books continues. there is one more panel coming up this afternoon and about half an hour or so and that is a panel on marijuana legalization, the three authors will be participating in that including beau kilmer who was on our program yesterday.
live coverage, six and a half hours today from the campus of the university of southern california where the festival is being held and we are now enjoy and you can see it on the right side of the screen next to the c-span bus. kathleen sharp is our guest and blood medicine is the book. >> depo is a drug that multiplies your blood cells so much that you can climb and alpine mountain on a bicycle or you can fight chemotherapy and lived hopefully to survive cancer. >> is it on the market today? >> it is on the market which is amazing because this is a drug that doesn't really work as advertised and actually hurts people because it multiplies a red blood cells but also multiplies cancer cells so as
many as ten to 15% of the 20 million people who've taken this drug have died over the years according to many medical studies. >> who developed it? >> sort of a wonderful story because it had promised in the beginning. but as tax payers help develop it back in the 70's and 80's, a wonderful man by the name of eugene has been working at the university of chicago and he was able to get ahold of this drug after many taxpayers' dollars and at the time it was just a tiny biotech shops and they worked on it and worked on it and were able to actually patent it and put it out in the market. they were so tiny at the time that they needed a marketing muscle to go after it and that is when they linked up with johnson & johnson, who of course is a wonderful company allegedly that makes no more tears baby
shampoo and band-aids. .. >> that this was the next big thing. but as time went on, amgen and j&j kept fighting for market share, and it became not only a huge bestseller, but a pretty vicious, competitive deal between the two companies. >> who was mark ducksberriesome. >> he was one of the top salesmen at j&j, and he was a very charming guy -- charming
guy who loved to tell jokes to the nurses, and he wore these wacky ties that would break ice, and he really believed in the goodness of this drug. what you had was a lot of people who were undergoing blood transfightses and that, of course, is -- transfusions, and that, of course, is very painful. but if we they could get one sh, they were good to go for a month or so. so he was trying to sell doctors on this. but what he did at the time he didn't realize this was illegal, but he would pay doctors to speak highly at various conferences, or he would pay doctors to fly around the country to speak at other conventions. he would reward doctors with free drugs knowing that they were going to bill medicare and medicaid for the top dollar. and at some point he said, wait a minute, you know, this is wrong, it's illegal, and also when the company -- both companies started to market the high doses, overdoses that had not been approved by the fda, that's when he said, enough. you know?
i have to stop this. in fact, i'm going to go on up the chain of command to alert people that this is going on. >> host: now, mark ducksberry is now dead. >> guest: well, that's a spoiler alert, isn't it? yes. he did die during -- >> host: but did you talk with him? >> guest: mark called, mark called me many, many times starting in 2004. he was so upset that our government and the fda was not pursuing what he thought was a crime. but he thought the press could do it. so when he first told me about this story, i was like it's too incredible to be true. i'm not going to take this on. but he was a very good salesman, and he'd call and tell me jokes and really kind of spoon feed me pharmacology 101. and everything changed in 2007, and that's when the fda decided to put a black box warning on this drug which is the sternest warning you can give and also congress was holding hearings into the very fast sales practices of j&j and amgen. so i got on a red eye from santa
barbara, california, to washington, d.c., and the next morning i stepped into this amazing drama unfolding nationally about the scandal, about the deaths, and most importantly, i had these two men -- mark ducksberry and his best friend, dean mcclelland -- who were happy to tell me the story. >> host: we want to put the phone lines up because we only have a half an hour with kathleen sharp. "blood medicine: blowing the whistle on one of the deadliest prescription drugs ever." 585-3885 if you live in the east and central time zones, 585-3886 in the mountain and pacific time zones. you can send -- you can make a comment on facebook, kathleen sharp, how is it that mark ducksbear recame to -- ducksberry came to you?
>> guest: he read some of my other work, and i'd also understood very complicated stories, and i can make them pretty simple by concentrating on the characters and the plot. and so mac had read some of these -- mark had read some of these and, frankly, he'd already gone to the wall street journal, "the new york times," the l.a. times and nobody wanted to touch the story. because at the time this was a huge, blockbuster drug. in fact, it was the number one reimbursed drug on medicare's list for many, many years. >> host: how much has medicare reimbursed people or, you know -- >> guest: right. medicare has reimbursed this drug for $100 billion over the last 20 years, which is really astonishing when you think of this is a drug that never claimed to cure a disease and never really worked as advertised. and, actually, the fda has said, patients, do everything you can to stay off of this drug. and many people have pulled back including the doctors who are earning a lot of money.
>> host: well, then why hasn't the fda outlawed it or banned it? >> guest: you would think they would actually yank it from the shelves. but what we have right now is a sort of for-profit system in medicine. the companies are very astute, very clever with lobbying. johnson & johnson has a whole team, as does amgen, of lobbyists who go around, and they're very effective that way. whereas, you know, here we are, the average taxpayer doesn't have that large a voice if you listen to many people whose loved ones have died from this drug. >> host: you fly to washington, what happens? >> guest: i fly to washington, and i walk in, there's packed room at the fda meeting. and i listen as people who have loved, you know, lost their loved ones testify about this drug and how they had no idea that they should have signed consent forms to allow their loved ones to be injected with this drug. they had no idea that they were getting the high dose and not the fda-approved dose. the stories were astonishing.
and there was one woman in particular that i met who lost her high school sweetheart, jim lennox, and he died in the most horrific way which was blood streaming out of his mouth, his nose, his ears, gasping for breath -- >> host: on the family couch. >> guest: on the family couch. he had almost beat cancer, but instead he died from the very thing that was supposed to help him. >> host: and she and you attribute his death directly to his use of epo? >> guest: she definitely does. she's talked with doctors and scientists who also agree with her. and the sad thing about this particular case is that sharon lennox did not have enough money to go get an autopsy of her husband. and she found obstacle after obstacle in trying to press her legal suit against the hospital and the two drug makers, and at some point she just ran out of dollars. and this is what happens to the average, everyday person. >> host: and so she's given up on that? >> guest: she's given up, although she has talked to many
reporters at "the washington post," "wall street journal" and, of course, to me, so she's still telling her story. and i consider her to be sort of one of the everyday heroes. >> host: kathleen sharp, how common was it for drug companies, etc., how common is it to have doctors endorse their products for money? >> guest: it's very common. it was very common. they would call them key opinion leaders. you would take the top doctor at johns hopkins or stanford university, and if you could convince him to talk up your drug and to appear at these wonderful conferences, other doctors who looked up to this gentleman would, of course, follow the protocol. so once you get those key opinion leaders in your pocket, so to speak, you can really multiply your sales tremendously. now, i think there's been a lot of heat on pharmaceuticals in the last four or five years. we've seen a lot of companies come forward and settle fraud cases. for several hundred million or
in some cases $3 billion. so a lot of these companies are, you know, they're more careful about it. but i hear tales all the time of really fast and loose marketing to the extent that a lot of consumers have no idea what -- why they're taking this drug. >> host: did the fda talk to you for this book? >> guest: yes, the fda did. in fact, one of my sources actually died from cancer, and she had taken epo. it's just astonishing, almost every time i turned around, someone was passing away. i think all of us know someone who has beat cancer or has succumbed to it. but the fda, interestingly enough, doesn't have a lot of power. we would hope that they would, but they don't have the authority to just yank a drug off of the shelves. >> host: why not? >> guest: a lot of times in this book, for example, i found out that many attorneys who are overseeing the fda at the time would squash the fda staff members. and one attorney if -- in
particular, by the name of daniel troy, and he now works for a pharmaceutical company. but you had this revolving door in either the department of justice, fda or any other regulator, and it would make your head spin, frankly, to see how quickly these people go between regulating and being regulated. so oftentimeses they go back to great jobs, much better paying jobs, you know, defending the pharmaceuticals and, unfortunately, this is sort of in the system that we have here in america. >> host: given the topic that you discuss in here and the strength with which you discuss it, did this have to be vetted by attorneys -- >> guest: oh, certainly was. [laughter] yes. in-house attorneys at dutton, my wonderful publisher, and they also hired attorneys who had worked with carl bernstein, and we spent months and months. and, of course, now i'm very delighted that new regency, which is on the 20th century fox studio lot, has just bought the movie rights, hired two
screenwriters, great screenwriters who did the story "tower heist," maybe you know of it? and they've just hired ali sheer who was in charge of "hunger games." so it's a wonderful testimony to the efforts of these wonderful men, and it will also give the public a whole other reason to come out and see this national drama being played out on the big screen. because it touches all of us. you know, the fraud in our system right now is $300 billion a year in medicare and medicaid. and that's fraud and waste. and this story sort of gives you an inside look as to how it's played out. >> host: did you learn something in researching "blood medicine" about the marketing of drugs? >> guest: the marketing of drugs is very slick, and one of the biggest things that pharma depends on are beautiful tv commercials. we are the only civilized country besides, i think, new
zealand that allows pharmaceutical drugs, you know, medical drugs to be advertised on television in 60-second increments. you hear that lush, beautiful music, you see these happy, healthy people running around, and you can barely hear the disclaimers that are flashing across the screen. and so a lot of people, you know, who want to feel healthy and happy will go to their doctor the next week and ask for that particular drug. and that's part of the waste that's in our system. and i think if we prevented or if we prohibited the marketing of drugs in that way, we'd be a lot healthier. >> host: first call for kathleen sharp comes from david in shreveport, louisiana. david, go ahead, please. >> caller: yes, how you doing, kathleen? my mother was -- [inaudible] we think to her death with heart problems. we live in the south.
women like to take -- i'd really like to take more responsibility for my health, i'm on a lot of medication. [inaudible] what would you suggest for people like me that live in the south that may not have many alternatives for going to a type of doctor, what would you suggest? [inaudible] >> host: go ahead. >> guest: well, i applaud you for taking responsibility for your own health and trying to get off of all those medications. one of the things i would do is try to go online, although i have to tell you that a lot of times we're not able to find out all the information that we need by going online. i would try simple things. i didn't quite understand, and forgive me, what your ailments are, but exercise, you know, great healthy food, getting off the couch, walking around. the simple sort of time-honored things that for centuries people have used to keep healthy are
extremely important. and starting in a few months, you'll be able to ask your doctor under obamacare if he or she is actually taking money from a pharmaceutical company. and if he or she is and taking money for the particular drug that they're tribing you -- prescribing you, then perhaps they're not bribing that drug because -- prescribing that drug because it's good for you, but because they're lining their pocket or somehow benefiting in another way. and legally those doctors are going to have to disclose every year what gifts and funds they do take. so keep an eye out for that. >> host: so right now doctors can be on the payroll of a pharmaceutical company, any -- of a company in a sense and not have to disclose that? >> guest: yes, that's right. but now there'll be a national sort of online database where all of us can type in our doctors' names and see what sort of payments they're receiving from pfizer. and often times, you know, there are legitimate things that are
going on. but the more we know as consumers, the better we can take care of ourselves. so i really applaud in this aspect of obamacare. >> host: "blood medicine" is the name of the book, and gina is calling from fresno. please go ahead. >> caller: hi, kathleen, this is gina. >> guest: hi. >> caller: i really thank you for writing your book. i have personal experience as well as we just lost our sister-in-law, and she was on that drug, and then -- >> guest: oh. >> caller: -- they took it away from her, and she had bone cancer, and she had two little girls. and her doctor has known her for 35 years. she had worked at the hospital. and he begged for the drug back, and they all just cried, and so personally he didn't, he didn't know. and he had processed the drug, and this was the -- talked up
the drug, and this was the next best thing. and she just cried and cried and cried when the drug company didn't give it to her as promised for free because he had done so much for the drug company. and, um, we lost her right after they went ahead and gave it to her. >> guest: i'm sorry. >> caller: and within a few weeks. so -- >> host: gina, thank you for sharing your story. >> guest: oh, thank you. >> host: kathleen sharp. >> guest: thank you, gina, and i'm very sorry for your loss. >> host: move on to thomas in statesville, north carolina. thomas, please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: yes. good afternoon, kathleen. you had already touched on what i was going to ask about was the fact that over the past several years i've seen what you're talking about, the commercials and how they've just openly advertised to us as consumers
instead of actually going through the doctors or caregivers is what it seemed like. and out just seems like, to me, the side effects like you were talking about, there's just so many side effects with just, you know, like a heart burn, you know, just something simple. so how is all of this, you know, allowed to be put out on the market? it seems like, to me, without really being tested or, you know, if it's any good, you know? i mean, it just seems like we're being used as guinea pigs. now, is it just the system? basically, is there a way for us to change it, you know, to fix it? >> guest: well, it's a great point you've raised, and indeed, we are guinea pigs to an extent because companies can only test the drugs on a small patient population. but once it's approved, then it goes out in a big way nationally. and one hinge that i've learned -- one thing that i've learned is the first seven years after a drug is approved it's
pretty risky because every drug husbandriesings and benefits. there's nothin that's 100% guaranteed. but it takes about seven years for a drug to be in the, you know, greater population. and that's when we find out really serious risks. and a lot of times these drugs like epo will be either pulled, or the black box will be slapped on them. so i encourage people to stay away from a very new, experimental drug unless they have no hope for anything else. >> host: kathleen sharp, why was epo, if there's so many problems, did amgen, did j&j believe in it at first? did the doctor who developed it belief in it? >> guest: oh, absolutely. everyone believed in it. and there was good reason to. but what these people started to do, j&j became instead of partners, they were enemies. and they would do -- they undercut one another, and they would go to extreme lengths to get a bigger and bigger market. and, of course, most of us know how huge a problem cancer is,
but it also happens to be the most lucrative disease out there. so any company -- a lot of companies are going for $100,000 drugs because they see all that money. most of which is medicare and medicaid. so these companies were fighting for all of that cash, and the big cash cow was the one that you and i subsidize through our taxes, which is medicare and medicaid. >> host: this drug used -- is this drug used recreationally or for other uses? [laughter] >> guest: ing oh, well, now we know it is. many years many of us suspected that lance armstrong in particular and many of the heroes that we look at in tour de france were using it. and we now know that lance last august actually confessed that he had. but here's the thing about lance armstrong. first of all, i wonder if he got testicular cancer because of in this drug. because it multiplies your cancer cells. and i also am very grateful that he did not have to suffer like some of your callers did by, you
know, dying or losing some of his loved ones. his teammates. so it'll be interesting as time goes on to see where lance got that drug, where the professional athletes got that. and if it's so widespread, then there's lots of other ethical questions like should we let all the athletes use these drugs? but the thing that i'm most upset about is that patients, you know, were not informed. armstrong and all these great athletes were informed, and they knew the risks they were taking. but a lot of people out there are, indeed, treated like guinea pigs, and it's only the fact that they realize what the real risks were. >> host: what are the sales of epo today as compared to 10 years ago, 15 years ago? >> guest: well, sales have fallen, but only to about a billion a year. so it's still out there. doctors are still using it. i think the biggest sector is dialysis patients. they need energy, and, you know, their kidneys don't work
anymore, so that blood product is helping them. but many people in that medical sector are also overweight, they're prone to heart attacks, and what happens with epo is it multiplies your red blood cells so much that your blood turns to sludge, and your heart can't pump it through your body. you have heart attacks, strokes, or like jim lennox, it just, you know, pours out of you in other ways. >> host: next call, john, salem, oregon. please go ahead. >> caller: i was very saddened to see what appears to me, kathleen, to be an overly simplistic and poorly researched presentation over the course of the past, i don't know, half hour or so i've been watching. i'm a neonaytologist. i have been so for 40 years, and the drug has been used particularly in preterm infants to reduce the incidence and need of blood transfusion and has been carefully used and has been
also pound to be beneficial -- found to be beneficial in repair and regeneration of the central nervous system after it's been damaged. i think there are a number of very well-researched, carefully-managed, nonup into theirly advanced uses of this medication that you've thoroughly ignored. >> host: so, john, doctor, you have used epo regularly? >> guest: it is a standard replacement in most neonatal intensive care units for blood transfusion. >> guest: well, i don't argue that there's not a good use for it. what this very well-researched book is all about is the illegal and fraudulent ways it was sold to an unsuspecting public. many people are still on it, as we just discussed, and epo is still being sold for about a billion a year, but i do not condone at all, and i think many listeners would not like to be
deceived or given an overdose without giving their consent as is legally required. and i think that's what the entire tale is about. >> host: and, unfortunately, john is gone. we couldn't follow up with him. but, um, do you think it should be a banned drug? >> guest: i am not a doctor, but all i do -- i do know that the risks should be much, much more widespread than they are, or at least people should know, and that's why the drug sales have fallen from 13 billion a year to about 1 billion. and that's why you see j&j actually closing the company that produced it. orr no biotech is no more. so the companies have withdrawn themselves from this whole marketplace a bit, and amgen is now pursuing other infanses. and i should mention that -- instances, and amgen just pled guilty to fraudulent marketing of this drug and has paid close to $800 million. so --
>> host: to fraudulent marketing. >> guest: right. to fraudulent marketing. >> host: which means what? >> guest: means fraud. in other words, they admitted to the fact that they were paying doctors and illegally marketing the drugging in ways that were not approved. >> host: so where does that $800 million go? >> guest: supposedly, it's supposed to go back to the u.s. treasury. and some will go back to the whistleblowers, 10 or 15%. one of the whistleblowers is saying, wait a minute, that's not enough money. this company sold $44 billion over this time frame, and you're only returning or asking for $700 million? that's pennies on the dollar. so we'll see what happens with that particular case. >> host: where's epo manufactured? >> guest: interestingly enough, epo was manufactured in colorado, but right now it's manufactured in puerto rico and in other foreign places. >> host: is there a reason for that? >> guest: i -- >> host: does it change the laws at all? >> guest: i do not know. i do know it is a little bit
easier for distribution, but that's a great question. >> host: verna smith tweets in, if the fd doesn't have power to regulate drugs, really who does? >> guest: great question. and can we should call for the fda to be much more accountable than it is. but in order to have that happen, we have to have clean money in our political system. and right now amgen can pay $10,000 to a senator and slip into a bill some entitlement. you know, our senators and congressmen are being paid off in order to sort of support a lot of these companies that should be more toughly regulated. >> host: how willing were j&j, johnson & johnson, and amgen to talk to yousome. >> guest: i called j&j probably ten times over the course of four years of reporting this, and i thought surely j&j, which is known for stepping up to the bat 20 years ago with the tylenol scare when it supposedly
withdrew all the tylenol capsules from department stores, surely they would talk to me. but they did not. they refused to cooperate. i asked their attorneys, who i actually liked quite a bit in the hallways, if they would talk to me. and they never did come forward on the record. and that's when i realized how tough it is for whistleblowers to get any sort of response from these companies when they are trying to blow the whistle. and that's when i decided, okay, i'm going to tell the story from the eyes of two whistleblowers and from the patients who suffered. >> host: where's mr. mcclelland today? >> guest: he's down in tucson. he's about to go to court in boston. his attorney is jan schlickman may know from "a civil action," another great book and movie, and jan is scheduled to appear in court with j&j sometime in june to move this 10-year-old case farther along. >> host: why boston? >> guest: that's where the federal court case is. and evidently, boston and
massachusetts in particular is quite consumer-friendly. unlike some of the other federal district courts. >> host: and we've been talking with kathleen sharp. here is her book, "blood medicine: blowing the whistle on one of the deadliest prescription drugs ever." this is booktv on c-span2. and our live coverage from the campus of the university of southern california continues. this is the l.a. times' 18th annual festival of books. we've got one more panel live this afternoon that we want to show you, and this panel is on marijuana legalization. three authors, beau kilmer -- who's written a primer on it through the rand corporation -- mark haskell smith, "hart of dankness is the name of his book," and doug fine, "too high to fail." now, after this panel is over, we're going the come back, and we've got one more call-in afternoon from california.
and that is with mark mozetti, the way of the knife. it's about the cia, pakistan and war. now, we're going to go live to the panel on marijuana legalization. [inaudible conversations] >> okay. so we're at the pot panel here. um, about legalizing marijuana. obviously, we're hitting a watershed moment in the history of marijuana. washington and colorado just legalized all adult use. no doctor's note needed. we have, i think, 18 states and d.c. now with medical marijuana laws. so we brought together these three great authors who have really delved deeply into the culture and science and
economics of marijuana. and we're going to talk about how this sea change might play out as we move towards, presumably move towards legalization and how they think it should play out. so, first, i do need to read some announcements. please silence all cell phones. there's a signing area for their books following the session. book signing for this panel is located at signing area one. personal recordings of this session is is allowed, and -- is not allowed, and mark wanted me to announce at 4:20 there'll be a special gift you should your seats -- under your seats. [laughter] >> just inhale deeply at 4:20. i'll give you a sign. >> okay. in the middle we have beau kilmer, co-director of the rand drug policy research center who has written extensively on marijuana policy. most recently, he co-authored marijuana legalization, what everyone needs to know, which
was published by oxford university press. and i really wanted this to be a raucous debate, but we don't really have any anti people here, so i'm thinking beau because he's neutral on this, he can kind of play the foil to these two stoners over here. [laughter] >> in a good way. >> medicated individuals, excuse me. [laughter] doug fine is on the far left, he's a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author and solar-powered goat herder. he has reported for "the washington post," wired, salon, new york times, outside and national public radio and has appeared on the tonight show with jay leno and conan o'brien's show. he's author of three books including the one he's here for "too high to fail: cannabis and the any economic green revolution." and mark, to my left s the author of four previous novels, and the nonfiction book he is
here to discuss, "heart of dankness." [laughter] his work has appeared in the l.a. times, the los angeles review of books and vulture. so i wanted to start with doug. you spent a lot of time if med seen know county in northern california, and i've done a lot of reporting up there, and there's a lot of flux with the small farmers that kind of started the marijuana movement and really some of the last small farmers in america that are really thriving. how do they see, how are they reacting to this legalization, this impossible and pending legalization where anyone in the world could start growing, if that's possible? >> well, the farmers i primarily followed were the pioneers, the ones who were willing to come above ground in mendocino's experiment where the county board of supervisors and the sheriff said because of economic necessity, we have to acknowledge the t. rex in the room and start putting these zip tie, these bracelets on the plants. 99 plants per farm to respect,
they thought, the 100-plant minimum on federal conspiracy charges. so from speaking to those folks, they are as ahead of the curve and aggressive per mendocino's culture where it would be clothing optional in the supermarket, you know? [laughter] where they're branding themselves as the emerald growers' association,, i think, is their web site. and what they want to do is create a prestige, organic-style, farmer-supported cannabis brand along the lines of napa with wine, let's say, and create everything from a top shelf reputation to a tourism industry which is worth, you know, so many hundreds of millions of dollars to a place like napa every year. it was fun to cover those guys and women, and i'm rooting for them because they're, they are american small farmers, and the program before the feds shut it down was successful in mendocino. it reduced crime and hurt cartels and brought revenue as
promised to the county. it saved seven deputy sheriff positions which had a real public safety impact immediately. and all the other counties were going to emulate it until the feds raided in 2011. >> did you get a sense of, obviously, you wouldn't know the numbers, but how many other growers were there that weren't these people that wanted to be transparent, you know, regulated, they wanted to keep it the old outlaw way? >> i think it's safe to say that the vast majority of the $6 billion mendicino, to mendocino alone are the numbers as i came up with them economy, the vast majority of the participants are still black market or at least gray market farmers. some second and third generation. but they were paying very close attention to this zip tie program in 2011, and by the end of the season, neighbors of mine where i lived for the whole growing season, everybody was a farmer, you know, you can find a list of farmers in mendocino county, it's called the phonebook, right? [laughter]
even the most skeptical were really into the program because it was working. but when the feds raided, there was this shellshocked reaction where people said, you see, this is why we can't support legalization. but just recently mendocino really won a battle with the feds on handing over records from their zip tie program. they wound up not having to identify farmer names and resisting a federal subpoena from the u.s. attorney in the northern district office. so i think that -- and now humboldt county is implementing a similar program to the zip tie program. just announced it yesterday. so i think that the veneer of the black market rebel that opposes ending the drug war because they like the high prohibition prices and all that, a thin one. and there is a pervasive awareness in the them also triangle that that the times are changing. the berlin wall and the drug war's down, it's over, and those who adjust and brand themselves and really do it right, not using bad growing practices, for example, are going to find
themselves like the founders of napa wine from the '70s, they're going to find themselves giving lectures at their alma mater about being pioneers in this industry. >> but, and maybe you can answer this, beau. because marijuana is fairly easy to grow, obviously, these people have vast skill. but it is fairly simple unlike, you know, making a very nice wine. if it was legal, wouldn't the prices just plummet? >> well, yeah. that's -- yeah. because right now when someone's purchasing marijuana or methamphetamine and cocaine, a lot of what you're doing when you're paying for that is you're compensating the drug dealer and everyone allegation for the risk of arrest and incarceration, risk of violent assault. if you have full legalization, that goes away. also you would expect if you were to allow marijuana to be produced, you could take advantage of economies of scale, and you could move from backyards and, you know, and basements into large industrial groves. and so, i mean, what happened in
colorado and washington was truly revolutionary in that they are going to allow for-profit companies to come in and begin producing. and so now those jurisdictions have to make decisions about whether or not, about what to, you know, what type of production to allow. do they allow large outdoor growth, do they keep it indoors? because the decisions they make about production, that's really going to influence what happens to those production costs. and then, ultimately, what happens at the retail, at the retail level. >> but in colorado big industrial production isn't supplanting a 40-year-old culture of small farmers so they could just do that. i imagine if you were to try to -- if everything shifted to, as you said, economies of scale to bigger production, that would put a lot of the guys you were talking about out of business. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> if i could just -- well, two things. one, it's not easy to grow pharmaceutical-quality cannabis. it's really difficult to grow. and for the scale they're talking about, there's -- if you
look at the wine business for sort of a model, there's always going to be $2 chuck, and there's going to be $2shwag, guarantee it. but for people that doesn't necessarily get you stoned but gets you high and tastes like lemonade, which super lemon haze would be that one -- [laughter] those strains are going to cost more. the small farmers will end up being, like doug said, like boutique wine makers and stuff. so i think there's going to be both of those things happening. but it's not easy to grow really good weed. trust me, i've tried. [laughter] >> the -- well, tell us, mark, you wrote about the cannabis cup and a situation in amsterdam. explain how it works there and how you see that could be adapted here possibly. >> about the cup or about laws in holland? >> yeah. how holland works. >> well, holland has figured out a thing, they have a soft drug policy. what they do is they separate soft drugs from hard drugs.
so you can go into a coffee shop anywhere in holland, and you can buy hashish or cannabis or a cupcake that's filled with hashish and cannabis. [laughter] and what they figured was that if they do that and they make that legally available to people who come there, they won't go -- because if i go to a drug dealer, then i can get meth or ecstasy or whatever else the drug dealer's selling, but if i go to a place that specializes, you've separated out hard drugs from soft drugs. and that has been a really successful policy that's been running since the '70s to keep people from taking hair and cocaine and harder drugs. and that's how they do it. and just in terms of numbers, i'm sure we'll get to it when we talk about legalization. they tax 400 million euros a year off of that business on a 2 million wiewr euro turnover. and that's the second largest industry in holland which is a small country. >> how is it sold there, stores, cafés? >> it's so civilized.
you go in, you have a menu. you can talk to the person and say i'm looking for something like this, i've got a date, you know, what do you recommendsome and you can just buy it or consume it there. often times they'll have different -- they'll have a vaporizer if you want to use it or various pipes or whatever, and you can order a coffee and a chicken caesar salad with it, and it's -- the only thing you can't get is a drink. you have to go to a bar. >> so it's like a dispensary without the medical issue. >> it's like a restaurant with a dispensary in the back of it. >> the one thing i'd add is if you're over 18 and walk into one of these coffee shops and buy five grams, it's legal in the front door, but it's illegal to sell it to the coffee shops. so what that ends up doing is it keeps the prices high. >> yeah. >> also this kind of addresses a little bit the issue of decorrallization versus legalization here in the u.s. one of the reasons why, what i came to advocate at the end of "too high to fail" was complete
removal of cannabis from the controlled substances act on the federal level allowing the states to regulate something along the lines of alcohol. [applause] so decriminalization, i live on the border of southern new mexico, and when you are still keeping penalties even when they're reduced, you're at some point somebody's dealing with a criminal. and i think the best thing for the public -- i say this as a father -- the best thing for the public safety side of ending the drug war is to simply make it be like any other crop. and that's the message of the farmers that i spoke to in the emerald triangle. we want to be taxpayers. let us do it. >> right. but if you were to regulate it, and, i mean, so far the cartels have been competing with this medical market we still have, because they're producing much lower quality stuff that they can produce very cheap. would that black market disappear? especially if you're adding taxes and all these other constraints on the growers that is going to bring the cost production up? >> again, i know these guys have
a lot of experience on that as well. but very quickly, my personal theory on this is that there is a lesson to be learned from alcohol prohibition on this front which is that, um, all you're doing when you're keeping probationary prices is creating organized crime. al capone the first time around and border cartels this time, and there will be flux, and there will be instability. i would say let's say for several years after the initial federal end of the drug war. but eventually the weed will separate from the chaff. there'll be something e equivalt to coors or $2 chuck as dan was saying. that's going to be a shakedown in the industry, but most bootlegers went away after most prohibition became nascar. >> the reason like vicente fox and mexican politicians a pro-legalization here is because it would end corruption, you know? you don't have to bribe the prison or the security, law
enforcement and security if there's nothing illegal going on. so there's a lot of advantages for the that kind of legalization. >> yeah. and just to add, i did some work with some colleagues at rand trying to figure out how much money the mexican drug traffic organizations earned by exporting marijuana to the united states. and in 2007, 2008, that was probably around $2 billion. that's how much they made. and marijuana use has gone up dramatically between 2007 and 2011. but we don't know if that's just, if that's more marijuana coming from mexico or if it's more domestic production. so if you want full legalization where you have these big industrial groves, that really would drive down the prices. and even if you put on some big taxes, i mean, you still would be able to try to eliminate most of that there are 3 billion. -- $3 billion. >> doug, you mentioned the schedule i narcotics. why do you think with these polls showing majority support for marijuana among democrats way high that the least
democratic political leaders are, most of them are just kind of shying away from this issue that seems to be so hot right now? >> i think the sea change that you described in the introduction that's underway in the public is also underway in the political spectrum finally. and here's where i'm seeing it. 40% of colorado republicans voted to legalize cannabis in 2012. that got the attention of california's republican party which is now debating whether or not, officially discussing whether or not to change its drug war policy. another stat that politicians are paying attention to is the youth vote which, especially democrats, have been going for since 1972. it's never really panned out and been significant, and in washington in 2012 youth voting was up something, i want to say at least 20% over 2008, yes, we can election. i'm not talking about over the mid year election. so these are things that have caused president obama to make his first serious statement as president. we all probably here know that
as candidate he called the drug war outler ill father -- an utter failure and called for the change of cannabis laws. but it's been terrible policy, terrible drug war continuation. and finally only after the election he told barbara walters in his first postelection interview, rather, that while he momentum yet -- i thought that was an important word -- support fully legalizing cannabis, obviously, the people of the states of spoken, and his exact phrasing was we have bigger fish to fry than going after those states. which was kind of a sea change as was this recent settling of the feds with mendocino county. i think we're going to see in the next year or two politicianing coming around. >> since the statements of barbara walters, it seems like the federal crackdown has kind of abated a bit. they're still going after people here and there. >> last week in west hollywood. >> yeah. >> well, maybe, maybe it was just melinda hague. [laughter]
>> with what the president said to barbara walters was we had bigger fish to fry, but he was talking specifically about going after marijuana useers. and the federal government doesn't arrest a lot of people for possession anyway. but he was really silent about what they were going to do with respect to producers and those distributing the product. so we still don't know how the federal government is going to react to what's happening in colorado and washington state. the federal agencies haven't made an official position yet or stated an official position. >> i mean, if i could just throw in you look at alcohol prohibition, i mean, back then if you needed whiskey, you could get a doctor's recommendation for whiskey or gin just like medical marijuana now and, slowly, state by state it started to change. the first state was like, you know what? we like beer. we're going to start selling beer. and by the time there were 36 states that had, you know, repealed prohibition, then the federal government repealed the volstead act, and i think it's going to be the same thing. we have to act locally. it's going to go state by state,
and the feds will follow. they won't lead. >> the other thing that's interesting about following alcohol prohibition is a number of states set up monopolies so the states could control the advertising, control the price. that's not part of the discussion here in the united states. because these states, you can't force your employees to violate such a law. and so that's not really an option that's being discussed here, but in other countries they have been talking about that. >> um, how do you see, mark, the best scenario? how would this play out the best way? >> legalization -- >> legalization. >> legalize. >> should it be medical, should i be sold in the liquor stores, should it be sold wherever? >> i think it should be recreational. just like yo i go to a wine -- you go to a wine store, you just need to be 21, have id, you know? i think that that's kind of where we're going to end up. it's going to become -- it'll be controlled. trl be certain outlets that sell
it. people won't want them on their block, but you'll be able to find the green cross somewhere. of but it'll be, you know, for recreational use. you won't need a doctor's recommendation. and it'll be taxed and controlled like alcohol. i think that's the most sensible thing to do. >> doug? >> i'm in complete agreement about the right way to do it. we'll have utah, obviously, regulating cannabis differently from, you know, from nevada which is fine. that's, you know, that's the way we've set up our country, and i'm a big supporter of that. the two hinges i've been thinking about -- things i've been thinking about lately one is consumer-driven support of sustainable practices. i'm concerned that the early recommendations going to colorado from its task force actually mandate indoor growing. and there's been studies, many folks here will know already because it was based on california energy use, but that indoor cannabis use, evan mills, nobel laureate, did a study. i forgot what his exact conclusion was.
some significant percent of california's electricity, he said, he welcomed comes from indoor cannabis use. also i know from following farmers for a long time that growing under god's sun in an organic method that i would want to eat for my brock lin, for instance, i would never go into a supermarket and buy a -- [inaudible] tomato. but people don't ask what terrible pesticides might be sprayed on them. so one of the things i've been thinking about as an ideal solution is consumer-driven demand. just in case this sounds like a pipe dream, you should know that canada which has legalized industrial cannabis since 1998 has a prophylactic ban on genetically-modified hemp in canada even though there's no such thing just to keep that monstrosity from entering the food system. seconding quick thing i want to say about an ideal thing in society, i believe, from a year of research and again as a father of small children who wants good public safety and good health and well adjusted
children that the stigma associated with cannabis, um, i'd like to see it gone. if we're going to not have any stigma associated with having a beer at a ball game, alcohol being far more dangerous than cannabis as well as america's real epidemic which is prescription pill abuse, i really want to see the stigma associated -- i want someone that is unafraid to have cannabis at a dinner party that can also be, for instance, the pta president or the local city could be is sill rep. city council rep. >> they're already smoking, by the way, they just won't admit it. [laughter] >> yeah. i always said you wouldn't have a music industry if there budget marijuana, so, you knowment. >> um, oh, there was a point i wanted to -- well, let's go to you, beau. one of the things i really wanted to ask you since you've looked at efforts aspect of the industry, the politics, the economics, and there's huge propaganda from both sides of this issue, what kind of has
made you -- what misconceptions have been put out there that really bother you? >> yeah. i mean, it's both sides like big numbers. they get a lot of attention. but, unfortunately, they hijack debates, and it's very hard to have a serious conversation when people are throwing out numbers that just have, that just aren't true. and so probably -- so i've been spending a lot of time trying to dispel these myths, and they come from both sides. probably the one that was most interesting was back in 2009 when -- 2009-2010 in california there was a discussion about proposition 19. and you were hearing people claim that the mexican drug trafficking organizations were earning 60% of their revenues from marijuana, and they were making 20, $30 billion a year. those numbers are being thrown around, and, i mean, in very respectable, you know, journalists were using these numbers. and so we tried to furring out where this actually -- figure out where this actually came from. so going through all these
different reports and different articles. it turns out that 60% figure actually came from the office of national drug control policy in 2006. and it was just a chart that was in the national drug control strategy, just a chart, and it was kind of showing the revenues, and it said 60 or 61%. but there was no real information about where that number had come -- where that chart had come from. so i started digging around a little bit more, and it turned out that the general accounting office the next year published a whole report about the mexican drug trafficking organizations. and in there kind of buried in one of the footnotes, they started talking about this revenue. but instead of putting, it was like 60% or eight billion or something. instead of putting that point estimate, they put a range in there and said that the mexican drug trafficking organizations could be earning anywhere between 3-14 billion dollars a year from moving marijuana to the united states, suggesting there was a lot of uncertainty about this. then we pulled out our calculators and said if you actually believe those numbers and what we know about how much
marijuana was being sold for at the wholesale level across the border, it was actually implied that the united states was using three times -- or that the amount of marijuana being used in the united states was three times higher than the upper bound estimate that the united nations had created. so the numbers just didn't make sense. so that's what actually motivated our study, and we found that probably -- i guess this was 2008. the mexican drug trafficking organizations earn probably 6-8 billion a year moving all drugs to the united states with marijuana being about 20% of that, and i do think that number has increased over the past few years. and then finally you actually saw that the office of national drug control policy distanced itself from that number. that came from a different administration. but this was a number that pro-legalization advocates were using quite a bit. that actually came from a federal source, and turns out both were wrong. >> what about, i notice in your book you mentioned debate over the number of people, because this is in every conversation, the number of people who are in prison for possessing marijuana.
>> yeah. >> not a lot for pezing. of. >> really? >> yeah. yeah, for distribution. so this is, if you look at everyone this that's in prison right now for drug offenses, about less than 10% of them are there for marijuana. mostly for growing. but there are some really big numbers being thrown around about how much money the government spent doing this. when we were looking at california, we were trying to figure out, well, how much money do, does the state of california and, you know, kind of local authorities, how much money do they spend enforcing marijuana prohibition in the state? so kind of before we did our analysis, we did the literature review, and we found two studies out there. one study suggested that the taxpayers paid about $200 million a year enforcing marijuana prohibition in the state. the other study put it at two billion. [laughter] that's a really big difference, that zero there. and so, you know, from this particular point it's not rocket science. give me the number of people arrested, information about adjudication, what we know about
who's in prison for what offenses, slap on a unit cost, i can get you a ballpark figure, and our figure ended up being much closer to that $200 billion estimate. but the one thing to keep in mind is when people are talking about legalizing marijuana, they're usually only talking about legalizing it for those 21 and older. but still a large chunk of that market is people making purchases under 21. if you do legalize, yeah, you're going to reduce criminal justice costs, but you're not going to eliminate them. >> and when i hear that very cogent analysis, where i come to, again, from the alcohol prohibition, the concept of harm reduction. you hear that term bandied about a lot in drug policy. what it means to me is even with some of the caveats and some of the more conservative numbers, the damage done by continuing to keep cannabis criminalized is so much more than, i believe, the harm we would see on the public policy front, let's see from underage use, should we end it.
in other words, there was a real problem with alcohol, but alcohol prohibition was one of the worst solutions, i think, that while anything has its downside and can be abused, and i want nothing more than for youth access to be restricted by id cards, yeah, when i was growing up, i knew where you could get the beer. i knew which liquor store would accept my fake id. so there are going to be people who are going to circumvent legalization, but i think it's going to be a real benefit. and very quickly, if i could, on numbers. it's so great because i have to talk about this stuff all the time too to hear the real sort of more sober, so to speak, numbers on some of this stuff. the fact is we are at, what is it,, 2.1, 2.3 million prisoners. and even though the drug war is at this increase in our prison population since the '90s, we have three-quarters more people in prison than china which is
very embarrassing. so even if just a segment of that is from the drug war, it's a trend that has to be stopped. it's parasitic, and even pat robertson doesn't think it's a good thing, right? and thsi blion that i said mendocino derifed, very quickly, came from 2010 seizures, i think i have this right, of 600,000 plants which they claimed, law enforcement claimed was 10% of the crop. >> yeah. >> but let's say that roughly means six billion got to market. outdoor crops can sometimes have ten-pound plants, but i estimated $1,000 per plant, low, meaning one pound selling at $1,000 wholesale to the farmer which i think is both low, and that's where you get that six billion, and i know that sounds really high. i just want to see if that sounds like it's grounded in reality. >> it's hard. so actually i spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how much money people spend on marijuana to try to get an idea about this. and in order to be able, you know, because most of the folks that are growing aren't keeping
detailed records. so you actually have to when you're doing these estimates, you kind of have to go from the bottom up. so i have to get a good idea about how many people are using, and given that you use, how many days did you use, and on given use days, how much were you consuming? people will laugh, but a lot of my work comes down to trying to estimate the size of a joint. [laughter] for real. actually figuring that out and actually -- has big implications for some of these different estimates. and so our best estimates right now are that americans spend about, on the order of -- i mean, there's uncertainty on this -- on order of $30 billion a year on cannabis. we're still doing work on this, but that's order of magnitude. and with all these numbers, there's a lot of uncertainty here. >> and hoop do they think would go into taxes? assuming those prices hold? >> you see all these numbers, but a lot of it comes down to what types of taxes are going to be applied.
>> uh-huh. >> and also production. because if you have a small tax on a small, you know, on small costs because production costs have gone down, that's not going to generate a tremendous amount of revenue. so you have to keep that in mind. until you kind of get into the specifics about what type of production you're going to allow and how you're going to tax it, it makes it hard to do those analyses. ..
so one thing you can think about doing is potentially taxing us to reach you a different cannabinoids, too. i think the bottom line is even if we are right now taxied by thc may be the best way to do it, tenures are now, we may learn that's not the right way to tax. as places think about how to do this, they want to build in flexibility so that they would make it hard for nation and want to change the policy it can be done. >> californians paid $100 million of medical tax is last year. [applause] i'm still thinking about what he 32 joint would be like.
>> suing your book you delve deeply into the quality of different stains of marijuana and a different interact in effects above the cannabinoids and came to conclusions of which ones you like and not, but what was your sense of indoor versus outdoor from that vantage clinics >> the plant is getting the full spectra of radiation antiskid knowledge that whole rambo. even if there is really good lights are expensive lights are now they're trying to do led light to keep cooling costs outcome you're still not getting all of that. please grow a little more robustly, taste better and the effects are a little cleaner.
for sure, what a conscientious current as is the rams -- they clean out the planet right before your harvested for the last 10 days. you just start adding lots of lots of water and you get all the potassium and nature should now. so when you smoke cannabis that's been grown while outdoors, that has been slashed, you don't cost and it's a really smooth smoke and that's the level these growers are working on. they are trying to dial in the uv effects in different fertilizers and things like that. >> said the joint you smoke on the fast page of your book was outdoor when you want to run amsterdam? >> the cambodian to cost $9000 a pound, yeah. in the u.s. who smoke a lot of
indigos because they grow indoors and those are the cannabis they get you stoned to shorthanded. these get you hyped which means you don't want to sit on the couch and watch laverne and shirley. you want to go do something, but will party. some of the equatorial strains, let cambodian suttee the high baseplate psychedelic effect it's actually quite pleasant. so that was grown outdoors because those plans get to be 24, 25 feet tall and take a really long time to flower and don't produce a lie. >> waited hinder industry just explode? >> you have to hide it. with helicopters flying around. the yield really well, but that's the kind of cannabis that gives you stoned. >> cannot talk to a lot of
growers that don't want outdoor, they want indoor. >> the current reigning in the bay area is some ground. directly as a result of working with farmers today, colin, so a couple things occur to me here. when is the new nuance is as much evidence with anything the drug war is over. i live in a very conservative valley in new mexico, where the cowgirl in front of me at the post office probably thinks president obama was born in nigeria or libya or kenya because rush told her so, and it invariably when that lady asks me write about its economic and social analysis, invariably cheesy hide knowing the problem
is prescribed opi whatever. we are not talking about the pipe dream, what should have a double never have, which is the gist of every drug debate policy like a year ago. and now it's like to bioflavonoids will be better in the outdoors that we see at whole foods in a race really going to be. >> wiser changing so quickly? provided down properly teen two years ago. >> are concerned to pass medical in its first ever underfunded. >> i think people are realizing you what should be allowed to smoke a non-toxic flower in the privacy of your own home, end of story. >> do you see any downsides to the equalization?
>> now, this is -- marijuana -- there are problems of marijuana use, just as problems with alcohol consumption, too. you need to be honest about that. most people who use marijuana, most of those who use alcohol don't have any problem, but there are people who become heavy users and can have consequences with respect to the social cause, we know it can increase the possibility of panic attacks and anxiety and traffic accident. people do become dependent on the substance or the clinically diagnosed there's a lot of debate about the mental health effects what is the thc content. there are social costs associated with consumption.
they pale comparison with heavy alcohol use. one of the things we talk about is people that are going to support legalization because they're morally opposed to the government telling them. other people but against legalization because they're morally opposed to intoxication. there are other people that really do care about what the public health consequences are going to be here one of the things in the black is that they really going to do the whole cost benefit analysis, you want to pay attention to how it influences alcohol abuse because we think marijuana use as the price goes down and promotion is allowed, we expect marijuana use to go out. depends on the machine abrasives. was going to happen to alcohol consumption? are people going to substitute
or more likely to use them together. the science on this is very great. there's not a lot of good research on this and if we did have good research about whether or not economic complements or substitutes. and so the folks in colorado and washington and those in other places trying to pay attention to figure out whether or not this is a good idea because given the social cost of heavy alcohol use is so much larger, that can tip the scales on this. >> you wrote heavy alcohol use and pothead problems. >> especially driving under the influence. even normal comes down and says don't drive. most of the work cynthiana, yb driving oned may not be as bad as driving drunk, but it
can increase the risk of accidents. the real problem is that people drink and consume marijuana at the same time and increase the probability of accidents. >> being drunk is far more dangerous, but it's very difficult to measure impairment. >> were going to get some evidence on this. in washington state as part of the initiative that passed, they built him a threshold of five nanograms with the amount of thc in the body. in colorado, that wasn't part of amendment 64. i'm not sure it's going to happen there, but it be interesting to see how it plays out. >> i think that is the most important issues surrounding issues like driving our pilots, teachers.
the doctors have to be responsible. i'm concerned arbitrary thc limits, folks you are acutely potentially impaired as a driver after using cannabis. thc stays in your bloodstream for up to a month. >> era some states already passing zero tolerance thc threshold. if you give a traffic stop come unite under smoke for three weeks in other words i find that talking about caveats so it's not people and dancing around the rainbow. that said, we haven't even
discussed the thousands of people zonked on oxycontin that are driving every day perfectly, legally, kids being checked by glenn a natural, specifically when it comes to drivers, we have to develop a new case-by-case impairment testing system because breathalyzers her protests are going to do with pharmaceutical cocktails are driven to work or whether they are impaired and they smoke cannabis two weeks ago. we have to go beyond these thc limits that don't have anything to do with what i'm talking about. >> is a more dangerous driver? someone who's cross faded some on his texting? >> i think it's question time. >> we've got a few. >> wait for the microphone.
>> nate silver has done some interesting preliminary analysis that says i'm like something like gay marriage, which is supported more and more, that individuals as they get older and become parents are less likely to acquire marijuana legalization. even that seems to be growing, they might not always supportive. do you see that as any chance for backlash or change in the future? we've been assuming that it's going to happen at some point. is that a given and could there be backlash? >> i did an event wednesday night in palm springs about 70 people older than 65. they had two concerns. they didn't want to take pharmaceutical medicines anymore and others are trying to figure the great 401(k) supporting their retirement by growing. i may be wrong but this one
because most older people come him a mother is inches fell for it. >> i followed orange counties that are chemically grown outdoor cannabis. this is where richard nixon retired in the words spread around. the arthritis serpa, was blackened and not giving them their lives back. i think poll numbers are indicating with people at the lowest and the recent pew study and even among seniors, the support for ending the drug war so to speak. adding a mac >> for 33 years have been politically active mover and shaker in the marijuana
movement. it's nice to see you up there. [inaudible] i knew jack 33 years after ted harris is a tv show called hemp for victory. now i'm writing a book, confessions of the marijuana act to this. i'm glad to see you all out there. what is wrong on this movement is her focusing on one aspect of it, smoking it, which is good, but -- [inaudible] we don't have to cut back one more tree. we don't have to drill one more well. methanol, alcohol, that's who we had to be talking about. we had to be talking about all
uses of it. [applause] >> you've got to start somewhere. the >> i driven ahab powerful about the other day. >> suite. the >> i was going to ask what impact you think the buckeyes then also a landmark vote by consumer reports, what impact do you think those two publications had on where we are today? >> i consumer reports called illicit drugs published in 1972 and winning two of the drugs histories, including the fact there is indian hemp commission in 1898 with no negative effects on marijuana and is in the 60s that found essentially the same thing. during the 70s there was a great movement towards legalization and when ronald
reagan came in, went the other way. >> that kind of speaks to your question, too. public opinion does change. there is a fair amount of support for legalization the 70s and automatically throughout the 80s. if you look at the gallup poll, they been asking the same question over time. do you favor legalizing marijuana use? only 25% of the country said yes and by 2010 with up to 50%. over time we have seen that fluctuate. >> history of woman suffrage is somewhat illustrative and not the fairest state for use later has been back in four states
repeal that, say we tried it, it didn't work. you see the back-and-forth, one of the biggest issues with the civil liberties and our great country has made a mistake like segregation and drug were set there. >> we've got a lot of people who want to talk. if they could have questions, it would be a lot easier. >> my name is long beach john. i've been inactive in this movement. in 1946 i experimented with marijuana and was an amazing success. [laughter] however, was an early date of the war on drug ended three years in a federal penitentiary for seven joins on a blog called the marijuana tax act, which had
been in the turnout the supreme court unconstitutional several years later. i never got my three years back. i went to mention the fact everybody should try and get a copy of this terrible magazine. i don't like these magazines, by the way. has all the information about 1502, very 502 is the number of the proposition in washington that passed and it's a disaster. it's awful, terrible things that we've are all celebrating, but it's terrible. i'm not going to go into the whole thing. legalize it, but one thing i need to say is on the proposition 1 past, getting medical marijuana, which does not exist.
there's no medical aspirins. there's marijuana but been used thousands of years. it was supposed to be in the foot in the door. whenever open the door because we don't get the idea for possession of marijuana is not a crime. [applause] by resending half-million people? the person we should be responsible is obama. he is very vulnerable. he's got other fish to fry. people say when the majority of people want this done, he has other fish to fry. let's get him. >> long beach john, you know, 502 may be flawed, but it's a step in the right direction so someone with seven joins boca to
show for years. you've got to start somewhere. >> first, either in a science writer's senate run? i thought not. i'm irish and i love a good leprechaun, but at some point they're not good for the irish people because people don't take them seriously and i'm starting to feel the same way about the stoner and how much they destroy lives, were all happy-go-lucky and ready to laugh and do a little tap dance for them. my interest in nasa science. becoming a medical marijuana patient i was flabbergasted to know there was science here. i'm thinking this is really interesting because the science
here isn't just convenient for and good for legalization. it is fascinating science. i want to ask you, what can we do to get science writers interims like this and to have "new york times" print articles and also wondering, how we going to get this into biology textbooks were do we have to wait until after legalization or is this something on the road to legalization? and why is this happening? >> last week i gave a talk to the journal conference in santa fe, new mexico and i was offended because i thought it my colleagues that we have to did not inform. the q&a session was really engaging and it came down to colleagues and all of the region were asking me how they should cover this. one of the things that they could look into the science is tough. the research is preliminary and
archie epting, but the basics of what i had to tell colleagues to stop taking stoner jokes in your headlines every time. op actg like this is a flip issue. covert serious way. [inaudible] >> now, the conversations have gotten worse areas over the past couple of years. this whole discussion about whether or not marijuana should be legal not the subject reasonable people can disagree. if your decision-maker in a
jurisdiction that wants to try some indifferent or marijuana prohibition, there's a number choice as you face. not a specific discussion about taxes. a lot of that comes to the science, too. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> it is now. >> you know, there's this research center at you see san diego and i spoke to the director there. the dea makes an about to get
marijuana. they have to go through this incredible bureaucratic process. so that it's a big stumbling block for them. we had a front page story just on cbd and we've talked about terpenes and all sorts of things. studies are still smaller and they had the big academics haven't really gotten the material they need to do these studies. >> or serious research done for years in israel by virtue of a manuscript are now in new zealand they find out all kinds of things. because it's a schedule when narcotic here, until that changes were not going have researched and it's not going to be taken seriously academically. it is baby steps time, but we are making progress. adding a mac
[inaudible] >> do you think the war on terror will work against >>our questione wa onuana? terror? the immaculate 10 to were politically against legalize marijuana. >> you stumped the panel, sir. >> i think it makes it easier. one of the things i noticed in southern new mexico's border control checkpoint. someone who lives in a different part of the country to prove my citizenship when i'm 20 mouser mail mansion regular basis. it's all connected. immigration debate, war and terror, war on drugs. that is we have to say to keep what is fundamental about to have described declaration of independence.
i was thinking about traveling post-boston tragedy through airports to get here is whether sir blurs this seems to be a priority level on the drug side. it just seems to me there's other things being thought about. >> in terms of research and drug policy, after 9/11 getting federal funds to do research on this. not because the type name to mexico, there seems to be more interest in this and more money being put into research. for a while a lot of it was all going towards the war on terror tape issues. >> i just wondered, who are the biggest funders of the anti-legalization lobby? >> the reason is much of an anti-legalization lobby.
if you look at who funds the pro-and anti-i was a different path initiatives, the collection of lawn for us that groups that will put money in it together. in california, one of the alcohol lobbies put a little money in to the anti-prop 19. in the grand scheme of things, the anti-side is getting outspent by the parasite. the parasite has a lot more money on this. [inaudible conversations] if you look at spending in terms of how much money was put in to the anti-side, there's still a lot more money being put on the parasite. >> in kentucky, this debate just like a lifetime by the way micro for me this hemp shirt for me, feel free to touch it after the
piano. of course foreign grown, because it's illegal to grow hound. please don't try to smoke it. the only opposition is a few law-enforcement unions saying people are going to be about how the difference between industrial hemp in canada has been here around, just raining on industrial cannabis and nobody's worried about that anywhere else that kentucky. if you're the governor he did one of those things where they came from not signing it. 77 and% said he's not going to do it. some issues in terms of spending on lobbying your seat and some times bobby, a prison guard have laid out the following.
>> you guys had bad when it's legalize that the current age is 18. why is that different about the change to get a medical marijuana card? when you sent legalize it would be 21? >> that was passed in colorado and washington because the 21-year-old threshold doesn't have to be that way, but politically -- should it be that way? it comes down to how you feel about marijuana legalization. [inaudible] [laughter] i do work for the rand corporation and we don't take official position on different topics, especially drug policy. so when they spoke with a 15 years and it's pretty much 150 frequently asked question, including what is thc, which
attacks in all four of us agreed everything in this 15 chap tours. each of us took a stab comebacker for pages writing up comebacker for pages writing up opinions. it turns out all four of us are all over the place. it's just going to show we can agree on the same facts, but we still have different values than things we care about. what i've read about different things i do like about prohibition indicates that advertising, but there's a lot of things i don't like about prohibition. i don't like so many people are arrested that if you're convicted of a drug offense it can be harder to get federal financial aid. i haven't seen one bit of evidence that those consequences are laws improve social welfare.
and a researcher researcher, someone pay attention to what happens in colorado and washington. the other thing i talk about is a lot of room between where we are now in the alcohol model. the state monopoly, may be allowing nonprofit organizations there's a number of options chewers actions have if they move away from prohibition. >> i'll answer your questions and if you're old enough to be eligible for selective service, you're eligible unshared old enough to smoke a joint. >> .it. thank you. >> i was really good. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> decease be invested in our trial began handing out bookbags and greeting viewers another festivalgoers. we have one more segment of live coverage on what to introduce you to mark mazzetti with a brand-new book he has written, "the way of the knife: the cia, a secret army, and war at the ends of the earth." he's joining us for a column
program. it was raining day this? >> raymond davis was a cia contractor who was former green beret and then left the military and went to work as a contractor for the cia. in june or two and a love in driving through the work, pakistan doing work that of a safe house and after two people approached him in a crowded intersection, he shot them. he thought he was being robbed. from there, the situation kind of got even more out of control than the american cause the lead cente chirped to go rescue him and ran over a third person. and then drove away, leaving davis to be taken into the cause of the bible that were please.
-- lahore police. what happened if h si inside the obama administration about whether to to the fact he was working for the cia and how to get them out. what happened was initially the obama administration didn't have the pakistanis he was working for the cia. they said he was diplomat. president obama said he's a diplomat. it was only after weeks and weeks as the situation spiraled out of control increasingly, where one of the wives swallowed rat poison because she became a new martyr and was convinced raymond davis to be treated well. ultimately the obama administration went to the pakistani government and sabrina davis is with the cia. there's got to amount of the country. in march of 2011, he was ultimately released from prison
after what was blood money was paid, where the guns that the families were paid over $2 million in a massive swipe away his charges and he was released to the united states and sent to an. the entire episode was a microcosm of how fraught u.s. tech any relations have become. >> what kind of work was he doing for the cia impact of and? >> he was doing a number of different things. the best i've been able to determine if reddy was principally doing in lahore was gathered intelligence about it roop kamlesh curry to you the, a militant group primarily based around the horror that for years and years has had support from pakistan spy service, and the reason why they did as they were
long seen as a proxy force who could help against pakistan's main india, so principally they were changed without the pakistani spies and they did launch attacks around the kashmir area. there were most well known and most viewers know the mystic group that carried out the mumbai attack in november 2008 so many people died in the hotels. so that surgery is done on the radar. they became increasingly concerned inside the u.s. government can't take the cia and that's why there was this team to gather more intelligence about the group. >> mark mazzetti, how many cia agents are inside packets and
quiet >> impossible to know. from around 2006, 2007, there is a study in greece to the beginning of the obama in illustration. i would say a couple hundred at least. that means case officers, analysts come the security people, the way they would get into pakistan would be the u.s. government was it be says to the pakistani embassy in washington. there would be pieces submitted by the cia, the says submitted by the pentagon. it was a way to get people into the country under different coven de rk t cia. this is coming at a time when
the cia increasingly had been doing work unilaterally. in the years after 9/11, we did a lot of work with pakistani spies. at the end of the bush administration, the administration decided they will stop notifying drone strike some of the more unilateral and intelligence gathering operations became unilateral as well. it has to be done under the noses of pakistan's government. >> lighting changes in policy happen at that point? >> it was a build up of a number of years. is pretty good relations and teamwork in the years after 9/11. over time there was increasing frustration, lack of trust on both sides. the bush administration came to think pakistan is playing what they call a double game.
they were al qaeda operatives. they drove straight that have been done with the consent of pakistan's government that didn't seem -- the people seem to flee at the las intelligence seem to be bad. they were tipped off scum this is feeling is in the bush administration a bit too deferential to pakistan in may 2008, al qaeda had built up operations in pakistan that was very much a lot like afghanistan pre-9/11. so bush is ultimately convinced by the cia. it is time to start doing things unilaterally and that's one of the reasons he saw the increase in drug strikes the president obama carried through an increase in tension in pakistan. >> when you re